Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo
...However, the aftermath/shut-down pain discomfort remains. I'm beginning to speculate that it's a bone spur causing me the aftermath/shut-down discomfort. I can recall one specific incident where I landed squarely on that heel, it was very painful at the time. I walked it off, but I am sure the discomfort began after that incident. I've had surgeries on my shoulder before, I know what soft tissue/tendon irritation should feel like, and this is not it at all.
....I'm icing more, and I'm stretching and strengthening my calves (lowering it on a step, then rising and hold for ~2seconds, 15reps).
Where exactly does this pain happen and how exact is the location (big or small)? Bone spurs are very uncommon compared to tendon damage so don't worry yourself that you have a bone spur until you're sure.
On treatment > Achilles tendon injuries typically don't react all that well to the sort of heel raises you mention assuming you do them down and up on each leg. Once past the most acute stage doing them as single leg downwards movement and then both legs upwards is the current thinking on Achilles tendon recovery and retraining (of the tendon fibres). Likewise - stretching or contracting out for 2 second etc does nothing for this sort of injury and can in fact slow recovery in some cases - basically because muscles are about contraction/relaxation, tendons are not.
(The routine you do would be more suitable for a muscle
injury - gastroc, soleus or tibialus posterior)
Try adjusting your routine to something like this and see if it helps at all:
1/ Calf raises > 1 leg down, 2 legs up, no pause. Do a set of 15 for each leg twice a day.
2/ Ice afterwards - 20 minutes on and then an hour off two or three times. (the classic 20 mins on/20 mins off routine is slowly being regarded as more suitable for muscular treatment. Tendons act differently to icing because of their comparatively lower blood flow)
Lastly, Achilles tendon injuries are often accompanied by increased amount of/flow to blood vessels around the target area. These can prolong recovery by flooding the area more efficiently after stress. Massage and icing can be useful to reduce these back to a more natural level. In short: increased blood flow (through formation or new blood vessels) long-term is a good thing for muscles, but not similarly for tendons.
Many people have surmised that icing a non-inflamed (swollen or quite sensitive to touch) tendon is not all that productive but from my own experience with Achilles issues and having spoken to some very experienced sports specialists (who treat top triathletes, track & field athletes and other sportspeople who compete at Olympic level) are now increasingly thinking that post-massage or exercise icing as I described above is the way to go when tendon injury recovery is the aim.
By any chance do you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk and previously didn't? I.e. a had a major daily routine change in the last 2 years? The bent knee of sitting at a desk for long hours will generally decrease the length of the major calf muscles - meaning the tendons will reach stress point faster when you exercise. Similarly, the hip flexors play a big part in how much stress is on your lower leg. Sitting at a desk all day also reduces the flexibility here - adding to the potential issue lower down.