Sore Achilles Tendons

#1
I have trouble with this as a result of all the sudden accelerations, especially since I serve and volley. Any tips on how to deal with this?
 
#6
I have trouble with this as a result of all the sudden accelerations, especially since I serve and volley. Any tips on how to deal with this?
I am convinced insole replacements saved my Achilles years ago, and have used them ever since. I use Sof Sole Airr Orthodic ... it has some cushion in the heel ... will make shoes heavier though.

This one:

https://www.amazon.com/Sof-Sole-Ort...h Performance Shoe Insoles, Men's Size 9-10.5

I have also experimented with slighly raising heel with thin insert under insole (I just cut out heels of original cheap thin insoles and put it under the Sof Soles. I read about this years ago ... the theory is it reduces the flex of foot up, which reduces pull on Achilles. Not sure if that is "a real thing", but felt fine so I stuck with it. At a minimum, a little extra cushion.
 

DJTaurus

Professional
#7
I am convinced insole replacements saved my Achilles years ago, and have used them ever since. I use Sof Sole Airr Orthodic ... it has some cushion in the heel ... will make shoes heavier though.

This one:

https://www.amazon.com/Sof-Sole-Ort...h Performance Shoe Insoles, Men's Size 9-10.5

I have also experimented with slighly raising heel with thin insert under insole (I just cut out heels of original cheap thin insoles and put it under the Sof Soles. I read about this years ago ... the theory is it reduces the flex of foot up, which reduces pull on Achilles. Not sure if that is "a real thing", but felt fine so I stuck with it. At a minimum, a little extra cushion.
Why don’t you buy just heel cups ?
 
#8
Why don’t you buy just heel cups ?
If you mean instead of Sof Sole insoles, the insoles that come with tennis shoes these days are cr@p.

If you mean instead of cutting out heal from original insoles, I like the fact that the original insoles are a perfect fit ... you don't want them sliding around. Also ... when I read about the insert idea years ago, the idea was you didn't need much adjustment ... i.e. use thin pieces, when is exactly what the original cr@p insoles are. You probably could add more cushioning that way ... but the Sof Soles already have a gel bubble at the heel. In the case of the Achilles ... I also read the raised heel is probably more important than cushioning. If you start with raised cushioning, and it breaks down (goes flatter) than you are back with more foot angle. :eek:
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#9
If you mean instead of Sof Sole insoles, the insoles that come with tennis shoes these days are cr@p.

If you mean instead of cutting out heal from original insoles, I like the fact that the original insoles are a perfect fit ... you don't want them sliding around. Also ... when I read about the insert idea years ago, the idea was you didn't need much adjustment ... i.e. use thin pieces, when is exactly what the original cr@p insoles are. You probably could add more cushioning that way ... but the Sof Soles already have a gel bubble at the heel. In the case of the Achilles ... I also read the raised heel is probably more important than cushioning. If you start with raised cushioning, and it breaks down (goes flatter) than you are back with more foot angle. :eek:
When I had achilles tendonitis the podiatrist gave me a pr of cork flat heel lifts to use temporarily until my orthotics arrived. Noticed Powerstep insoles have a heel lift. Btw, still have a custom night splint from those days that gave relief after about three weeks.
 

DJTaurus

Professional
#10
If you mean instead of Sof Sole insoles, the insoles that come with tennis shoes these days are cr@p.

If you mean instead of cutting out heal from original insoles, I like the fact that the original insoles are a perfect fit ... you don't want them sliding around. Also ... when I read about the insert idea years ago, the idea was you didn't need much adjustment ... i.e. use thin pieces, when is exactly what the original cr@p insoles are. You probably could add more cushioning that way ... but the Sof Soles already have a gel bubble at the heel. In the case of the Achilles ... I also read the raised heel is probably more important than cushioning. If you start with raised cushioning, and it breaks down (goes flatter) than you are back with more foot angle. :eek:
I mean she like that:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sorbothane-Heel-Large-Absorbing-Fasciitis/dp/B07FBX5RYV
 
#13
I have trouble with this as a result of all the sudden accelerations, especially since I serve and volley. Any tips on how to deal with this?
In the past I've had off-and-on soreness like you're describing. I think there's probably something to the idea of insoles and aside from the potential benefits of raising the heels just a little bit, I know that I've benefited from improved ankle alignment. If my feet pronate in my shoes too much, that's rough on my achilles.

Insoles can help to get good vertical ankle alignment, but I've also found it with certain shoes. The difference in comfort has been substantial enough for me that I prioritize good ankle alignment above anything along the lines of ample cushioning in a shoe. Even if they're built with a relatively thin sole and ride low-to-the-ground, they feel great if they let my ankles set nice and straight.
 
#14
I've got one. Interestingly, it's easier to balance on one foot in the center of the board than with 2 feet on the outside. I'd imagine surfers and skiiers would find this easy.

To make it more difficult, stand on one foot and attach an elastic band between both ankles and move your foot that's not on the board outward and inward. Or maybe try juggling [preferably not flaming chainsaws]. It works leg muscles you didn't know you had.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#15
I've got one. Interestingly, it's easier to balance on one foot in the center of the board than with 2 feet on the outside. I'd imagine surfers and skiiers would find this easy.

To make it more difficult, stand on one foot and attach an elastic band between both ankles and move your foot that's not on the board outward and inward. Or maybe try juggling [preferably not flaming chainsaws]. It works leg muscles you didn't know you had.
 

acintya

Hall of Fame
#19
i also have this problems - especially when i wake up - its taking 8 months now - driving me crazy - when i play tennis everything is ok but then i walk like a zombie afterwards
 
#21
I've had this problem for the last 6 or 7 years now. I've tried everything. The only thing that has helped even the smallest amount has been that I no longer play on consecutive days. The only good news I have is that I've been told by doctors that people with bad Achilles tendonitis are not necessarily any more likely to tear their Achilles than anyone else.
 
#22
I've had this problem for the last 6 or 7 years now. I've tried everything. The only thing that has helped even the smallest amount has been that I no longer play on consecutive days. The only good news I have is that I've been told by doctors that people with bad Achilles tendonitis are not necessarily any more likely to tear their Achilles than anyone else.
What does "everything" consist of?
 
#23
What does "everything" consist of?
Rest, time off to recover, different shoes, insoles, heel cups, ankle braces, stretching, calf strengthening, massage, massage roller, and even changing my stance on my backhand to name a few things. If I had to pick just a couple things that have seemed to help the most, I'd probably go with the stretching and massage roller. They have not stopped or even lessened the pain, just maybe slowed down further development of it. My Achilles pain is generally somewhere between a 2.5-3.5 out of 10 while playing and much higher the next day. It decreases quite a bit two days after playing and then slowly goes away almost completely over time if I don't play for a while. Comes back immediately on my first time back playing though (even once after giving it a 3 month break). I've learned to just put up with it for the most part, but I just can't play singles two days in a row any more.
 
#24
Rest, time off to recover, different shoes, insoles, heel cups, ankle braces, stretching, calf strengthening, massage, massage roller, and even changing my stance on my backhand to name a few things. If I had to pick just a couple things that have seemed to help the most, I'd probably go with the stretching and massage roller. They have not stopped or even lessened the pain, just maybe slowed down further development of it. My Achilles pain is generally somewhere between a 2.5-3.5 out of 10 while playing and much higher the next day. It decreases quite a bit two days after playing and then slowly goes away almost completely over time if I don't play for a while. Comes back immediately on my first time back playing though (even once after giving it a 3 month break). I've learned to just put up with it for the most part, but I just can't play singles two days in a row any more.
Have you tried foam rolling your calves and hamstrings before you go to the court ... and dynamic stretches at the court? I think if I was feeling Achilles pain ... I would probably roll the foot over a tennis ball before also. It's amazing the knots you find in calves and forearms when you roll them ... that you had no idea were there.
 
#25
Rest, time off to recover, different shoes, insoles, heel cups, ankle braces, stretching, calf strengthening, massage, massage roller, and even changing my stance on my backhand to name a few things. If I had to pick just a couple things that have seemed to help the most, I'd probably go with the stretching and massage roller. They have not stopped or even lessened the pain, just maybe slowed down further development of it. My Achilles pain is generally somewhere between a 2.5-3.5 out of 10 while playing and much higher the next day. It decreases quite a bit two days after playing and then slowly goes away almost completely over time if I don't play for a while. Comes back immediately on my first time back playing though (even once after giving it a 3 month break). I've learned to just put up with it for the most part, but I just can't play singles two days in a row any more.
I noticed that missing from your list was "getting an MRI and talking to a orthopedist and perhaps also a Physical Therapist".
 
#26
If we’re talking about preventing soreness, I think the key is to stretch, both before and after playing, and to keep the calf muscles (and therefore achilles tendon) strong with targeted exercises. Another important thing is to keep the foot muscles strong. People with weak foot/arch muscles are much more likely to hyperextend the achilles because when pushing off all of the stress gets placed on the achilles if you have a weak arch.
 
#27
I noticed that missing from your list was "getting an MRI and talking to a orthopedist and perhaps also a Physical Therapist".
It was not an exhaustive list, hence "to name a few things." No MRI, but yes, a few trips to the doctor and an associated prescribed stretching, strengthening, rest regime.
 
#28
Have you tried foam rolling your calves and hamstrings before you go to the court ... and dynamic stretches at the court? I think if I was feeling Achilles pain ... I would probably roll the foot over a tennis ball before also. It's amazing the knots you find in calves and forearms when you roll them ... that you had no idea were there.
I use this guy for rolling my calves and it seems like the best thing I've found for slowing down the pain: https://www.amazon.com/Stick-Sprinter-Flexibility-Therapeutic-Potentially/dp/B016ZHDOCC?th=1

I have not tried rolling my feet over a tennis ball... I will have to add that to the repertoire!
 
#29
I use this guy for rolling my calves and it seems like the best thing I've found for slowing down the pain: https://www.amazon.com/Stick-Sprinter-Flexibility-Therapeutic-Potentially/dp/B016ZHDOCC?th=1

I have not tried rolling my feet over a tennis ball... I will have to add that to the repertoire!
I have a stick roller ... use it for forearms and triceps regularly ... since TE 2 years ago.

Started foam rolling calves and hamstrings after hamstring injury (twice).

IMO ... you will get a better calf and hamstring massage with a foam roller because you can use body weight to your advantage. Lots of good foam roller youtube videos.

I just added this one, I want a smooth one with some give (not max firm). I only do one leg at a time ... so short is good. For both legs at same time (foam rolling more awkward than you would guess) ... you need a longer one.

This one:

https://www.amazon.com/Yes4All-Foam...Mwebp_QL65&keywords=foam+roller+yes4all&psc=1

Good luck ... I am now the guy that needs 20 minute tennis prep before I leave the house, and 5-10 minute dynamic stretches at the court only to still play 60 year old tennis. :mad:

I played a guy regularly ... probably mid 40s that had a complete Achilles tear years before. He ran on clay court like he had never had the injury. Another friend popped his warming up in a tournament ... and he came back 100%.
 
#30
I have a stick roller ... use it for forearms and triceps regularly ... since TE 2 years ago.

Started foam rolling calves and hamstrings after hamstring injury (twice).

IMO ... you will get a better calf and hamstring massage with a foam roller because you can use body weight to your advantage. Lots of good foam roller youtube videos.

I just added this one, I want a smooth one with some give (not max firm). I only do one leg at a time ... so short is good. For both legs at same time (foam rolling more awkward than you would guess) ... you need a longer one.

This one:

https://www.amazon.com/Yes4All-Foam...Mwebp_QL65&keywords=foam+roller+yes4all&psc=1

Good luck ... I am now the guy that needs 20 minute tennis prep before I leave the house, and 5-10 minute dynamic stretches at the court only to still play 60 year old tennis. :mad:

I played a guy regularly ... probably mid 40s that had a complete Achilles tear years before. He ran on clay court like he had never had the injury. Another friend popped his warming up in a tournament ... and he came back 100%.
Thanks for all the info! I am curious though: how do you use the stick roller for forearms and triceps? With help from another person?
 
#31
Thanks for all the info! I am curious though: how do you use the stick roller for forearms and triceps? With help from another person?
I stick one end straight down wedged in the top corner of a leather couch (crease between back rest and top corner of couch). Roller is vertical ... just roll my arm horizontal.

You can also just put one end on the edge of table edge, and your arm pressure will keep it in place.

@03:00 below

 
#32
It was not an exhaustive list, hence "to name a few things." No MRI, but yes, a few trips to the doctor and an associated prescribed stretching, strengthening, rest regime.
It seems like getting an MRI would be a pretty obvious plan A so I assume you have your reasons why you haven't gotten one.

Since the soreness keeps coming back, I would guess that means something is wrong but the things you've been doing haven't worked. If you don't want to go the MRI route, you may be in for a long road of trying different things before you find something that works [and it seems like you've tried all of the logical ones]. Keep in mind that the problem might be elsewhere and it's simply manifesting itself in your Achilles. So make sure you address your hamstrings, glutes, back, etc. Also, how about a chiropractor?

Good luck.
 
#33
It seems like getting an MRI would be a pretty obvious plan A so I assume you have your reasons why you haven't gotten one.

Since the soreness keeps coming back, I would guess that means something is wrong but the things you've been doing haven't worked. If you don't want to go the MRI route, you may be in for a long road of trying different things before you find something that works [and it seems like you've tried all of the logical ones]. Keep in mind that the problem might be elsewhere and it's simply manifesting itself in your Achilles. So make sure you address your hamstrings, glutes, back, etc. Also, how about a chiropractor?

Good luck.
My doctor has told me that an MRI would basically be wasteful because the results wouldn't change the treatment options we're using anyway (other than surgery, and it's not THAT bad that I need to go under the knife for). It's mostly just annoying that I can't really play singles on consecutive days (although sometimes I still do if I know I'm not going to be able to play for a while afterward anyway due to work, travel, etc.).
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#34
My doctor has told me that an MRI would basically be wasteful because the results wouldn't change the treatment options we're using anyway (other than surgery, and it's not THAT bad that I need to go under the knife for). It's mostly just annoying that I can't really play singles on consecutive days (although sometimes I still do if I know I'm not going to be able to play for a while afterward anyway due to work, travel, etc.).
Be careful, had a dubs partner whose achilles swelled so much it looked like his calf. He saw Dr. Carl Spackler and that ended his problem,
 
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#35
My doctor has told me that an MRI would basically be wasteful because the results wouldn't change the treatment options we're using anyway (other than surgery, and it's not THAT bad that I need to go under the knife for). It's mostly just annoying that I can't really play singles on consecutive days (although sometimes I still do if I know I'm not going to be able to play for a while afterward anyway due to work, travel, etc.).
That logic doesn't make sense to me [a non-doctor]: if I don't know what the problem is, how can I design a fix? Unless the fix is universal no matter what the damage. What if the MRI shows that there is damage somewhere other than where he thought? What if there are multiple damage sites?

I'd consider getting a second opinion on his "MRI is wasteful" idea. Also, you've pointed out that his treatment options have not worked.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#36
Had achilles tendonitis 20 yrs ago. Eventually had 3 cortisone shots. That quieted the pain. Also had plantar fasciitis, more shots.
 
#41
barefoot single leg calf raises, hold at the top. then with shoes, calf raises off a step. stretching is important, though strengthening through a range of motion is critical
 
#42
barefoot single leg calf raises, hold at the top. then with shoes, calf raises off a step. stretching is important, though strengthening through a range of motion is critical
Lowering from top of raise heel to heel below the step is the eccentric stretch/exercise that has proven successful with Achilles pain. Eccentric (stretch under load) more and more seems to be key for tendons (flexbar for TE another example).
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#45
I had one shot for plantar fasciitis when I was in my 20s. Hurt like hell ... told the podiatrist that wasn't happening on the 2nd podiatrist visit when he headed for the needle drawer. :mad:
Gotta love getting the double-ought gauge needle through the side of your heel, then wiggle while he works the thick ooze in. Never felt love like that before.
 
#48
I've had a number of achilles challenges. Surgery on the right one (detached for Hagland's surgery) and then continuously straining my left one. I've done PT, use KT tape regularly when playing (not sure if this helps but PT recommends it), and various stretching elements.

My routine (as recommended by my ortho and PT):

  • Find the right shoes. For example, Gel 7's were terrible for achilles support (IMO) and switched to Nike's
  • Leave plenty of time for stretching before playing
    • Use a rolling "stick" on the calf firmly. Better if you can get someone to do it for you.
    • Do a variety of stretches for the achilles and calf.
      • My favorite: walking foot in front of foot in a poor form squat (knees out). Really stretches the achilles
  • Take anti inflammatory medicines as prescribed by a doctor. I am on Meloxicam but only take it on days I play or if it's bothering me
  • Use the stick daily.. this really makes a difference

Hope you find the relief you need. From what i've been told this is really a calf issue that impacts the achilles. Reducing tightness and inflammation are the keys to injury avoidance.
 
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