Achilles Tendonitis..

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by TennisCanada1, Mar 20, 2017 at 2:34 PM.

  1. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Professional

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    I had pain for the first time in my achilles, and didn't really act on it until the point where it hurt when I would step when I would play. Probably about 3-4 weeks and it got worse over time.

    I took the last month off. I haven't played tennis or anything. It doesn't hurt when I walk at all, but basically for the past 3 weeks I've completely plateaued.. It doesn't hurt when I walk but it is tender when I touch the achilles, so I am worried that it will just get worse again when I play since it is not 100%.

    I have no idea what to do.
     
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  2. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    Pretty simple.

    Strengthen and stretch the achilles through eccentric exercises of the achilles. Not only does this help re-align the tendon fibers longitudinally during the healing process but it prevents recurrence as it makes the achilles stronger and also strengthens and lengthens the calf muscle (a short, tight calf muscle can put unnecessary stress on the achilles).

    A concentric exercise is where you shorten the muscle/tendon at the same time as contracting/working it eg. doing a bicep curl with a dumbell - your bicep will be working but the muscle will be shortening.
    An eccentric exercise is where you lengthen the muscle/tendon at the same time as contracting/working it. eg. bicep drop/lowering with a dumbell - your bicep will be working but the muscle will be lengthening. You want the eccentric exercise.
    • Find a bench at the side of the court and stand on the edge of it with half your foot on the edge of the bench and the rear half off the edge of the bench.
    • You can hold onto the fence for balance if necessary.
    • Push upwards with both feet so you are on your toes.
    • Then put all your weight on the foot in question and slowly lower the foot to the count of 10 so that your heel goes off the edge of the bench so that you are at the maximum range of movement. This will work your achilles eccentrically. You should also feel a stretch in the back of your calf.
    Repeat 10 times. Do that 3 times a day.

    If it's painful to do, then try it with both feet together. Then say 2 weeks later, try it with one foot.
    If it's too easy to do, then put some weights in a backpack and do the exercise wearing the backpack.

    May take 6-8 weeks of these exercises to make your achilles super strong and lengthen it along with the calf.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 3:44 PM
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  3. WisconsinPlayer

    WisconsinPlayer Rookie

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    ^ You could also do the "Soleus stretch on wall". Stand in front of a wall, extend the foot in question back with your knee slightly bent, then lean forward until you can feel it in your calf. It doesn't stretch your achilles directly but often times the problem isn't only caused by the muscle that hurts
     
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  4. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Professional

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    Will try that thanks.

    My tibialis posterior muscle also hurts me but randomly from time to time. I wonder if the two are connected..
     
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  5. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I've been having issues for maybe 6 months, the eccentric exercises help (I go backwards down a flight of stairs) and then I slack off and it hurts again. Hurts in the morning, then goes away in an hour, doesn't bother me playing while the adrenaline flows, but I limp off the court after a tough match.

    J
     
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  6. WisconsinPlayer

    WisconsinPlayer Rookie

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    You may want to go into 1 or 2 therapy sessions just to learn some stretches. Right now I'm in therapy for my plantar fascia and achilles and he has me doing stretches which I wouldnt have thought would help (some glute stretches, hip rotations, etc). 2 days after doing these stretches I havent had any foot pain so Im amazed :D
     
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  7. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Professional

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    Yikes I hope things get better for you
     
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  8. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    My wife is a qualified physio / tennis coach / general sports person extraordinaire and most of the time she'll tell you everything is interconnected. She was treating some guy the other week for tennis elbow but was also doing alot of work on his bicep and shoulder. If one part of the body is weak, another part will compensate. Use that compensating part too much and it will eventually get overloaded and become susceptible to injury.
     
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  9. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Professional

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    Use a tennis ball to roll GENTLY into the calf to release any restrictions in the soft tissue that can be putting unnecessary load on the Achilles. Explore around GENTLY with the ball and if you find any part that's painful, tender or hard then allow the ball to sink into those areas for at least 5 minutes.

    As others have suggested stretching GENTLY. Lots of different ways to stretch the area, "runner's stretch", off stairs, use of a Pro-stretch. Again, hold the stretch for at least 5 minutes.

    As WP alluded to, there may be other culprits "up the chain" so to speak that can cause pressure and pain in the Achilles region. I remember you stating you've had hip issues before...

    Is it one Achilles or both? If it's just one, you need to think about why it's just happening on one if I walk on both feet?

    Eccentric heel drops are good, but identifying and reducing soft tissue restrictions and correcting any misalignments in the system would be my first order of business.

    Glad to read that you're playing tennis..what ever happened to the issues with your elbow and serving?
     
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  10. prjacobs

    prjacobs Hall of Fame

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    If you do seek physical therapy, find someone who works in the dance community. They are far more skilled, with a greater understanding of movement than your typical therapist. They also care more. Snapped my Achilles' tendon, 25 years ago. No issues at all since then.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  11. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Professional

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    I do both feet, but it doesn't help. If anything it may be a bit worse. It only hurts when I touch it though, I'm at the point where it doesn't hurt when I walk. I haven't really done any activity in a month with the exception of going on a treadmill for 20 minutes one time to run.

    All that being said I appreciate your advice and I'm open to any thoughts or suggestions. Thank you
     
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  12. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Professional

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    Hey! Good to hear from you, hope all is well. It's just one achilles. I did the rolling thing but couldn't find any specific painful points. Only hurts in the achilles. Again I'm open to any other suggestions though. As for my forearm, I saw a chiropractor that realized that my lats weren't working/active so I was taking on the load of the ball on my forearm/elbow. I also changed my serving technique to snap down more and not extend my elbow straight out as much. It worked. Like you always said, the solution wasn't local. Thanks
     
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  13. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Professional

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    It all started with my posterior tibialis randomly giving out on me. This was I think in January. For my whole life I never had any prior issues, and then when I was at the baseline while my partner was at the net hitting volleys, I was barely moving and my post tib just gave out and it was sharp pain. 15 minutes later I was walking perfectly. It was the WEIRDEST thing. I then had a few episodes of it happening but not as bad, and randomly, like when I got out of bed. Then the achilles pain came but I didnt really bring awareness to it until it was really sore, and now I've sat and done nothing for a month and got treatment (acupuncture, manual treatment, electroacupuncture, taping) and I'm still in pain.
     
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  14. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    You need to do the eccentrics for up to 8-10 weeks, with the emphasis the quality of the exercise and moving onto 1 foot sooner rather than later. Your tendon won't heal itself and get stronger after only a couple of days of doing it...

    Rest in rust with regard to tendon strengthening.
     
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  15. TennisCanada1

    TennisCanada1 Professional

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    Will it really take 8-10 weeks to be able to play for an injury that doesn't even hurt when I walk?
    Also, do you think it's ok to do the exercises if the area hurts, as long as it doesn't hurt when I do the exercises?
     
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  16. racket king

    racket king Professional

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    If you want a strong, healthy achilles, do the exercises.
     
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  17. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Professional

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    Well, glad that worked out for you and you're back to playing tennis. I had an instinctual feeling that there was something in the lats or quadratus lumborum region that was wonky that needed to get looked at.


    To clarify, spots that may suggest a restriction in the soft tissue doesn't always need to be painful or tender, they can feel rigid or hard as well. Since it's affecting only one Achilles, you can roll on the other calf and compare the rigidity of the tissue between the two. And if the only place that's painful or rigid is by your Achilles, well then that's where you should focus on using a ball or foam roller. I'm partial to a soft ball in that region as it's easier to navigate and be more specific.


    How did you determine it was your posterior tibialis that gave out on you?

    I mean, btwn it only affecting one leg, plus getting rest and treatment in the area and still having pain, it's time to look up the chain and at other areas besides your symptomatic regions. Fortunately it's not causing you too much dysfunction but as you already have experienced, resolution of your issues can be frustrating. You seem to be too young to have all these complex pain issues :(

    Good luck!
     
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  18. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Professional

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    Generally as long as an exercise doesn't hurt or you don't feel like its causing further injury it should be ok to do.
     
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