Training & Nutrition - Achilles tendons injury...
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10-24-09, 04:57 PM
Hi. I just wanted to ask around if anyone has a tried & true method for effective & quick recovery from an achilles tendon strain? (or minor tear, not sure)
I did my first overnight ride I'd guess you could call it a 'tour'. Just 150 miles, 72/78 over Wed/Thursday. The pain started the last 15 miles of Wednesday's ride & I just ate, took 800mg Ibuprofen & fell asleep.
When I got in Thursday night, I've rested & did a little ice therapy later on Friday when the pain seemed to worsen.
So now its later Saturday, I've kept my feet elevated, iced on & off since Friday afternoon. But tomorrow I gotta go back to work which involves a moderate level of activity (not a desk job per se).
My question is for those people who've had this kind of injury. What worked for you?
Quick?? How does 6 months grab you?
You can try lowering your saddle a little bit ... especially if you're going to be cycling in hilly areas. That's probably what caused the problem in the first place.
And don't cycle without wrapping your ankle(s). In fact you might want to wrap them for walking too. It's not just a matter of throwing a tensor bandage around them, there's a very specific wrapping technique for achilles tendons ... look it up, the internet should have a "How To" thing somewhere ... or go to a physiotherapist who can show you.
Later, a few weeks from now, when the pain starts to ease off you might consider going to someone who does active release therapy (ART). Let that person tell you when you can start stretching your ankles and calves as well ... not a good idea to stretch them at this point.
Good luck ... achilles tendon problems are not easy to deal with.
10-24-09, 10:21 PM
Stretch them in the morning BEFORE you take your first steps out of bed. Most people sleep with their feet pointed to some degree which can shorten the tendons through the night. First steps in the am can cause minor tears if the tendons don't get stretched prior and contribute to the injury further. I never had any problems with this until I had noticable pain/ tears ... but stretching in the am helped me recover and heal.
10-24-09, 11:43 PM
Go see your doctor and get a PT referral. I tore my achilles and had to have a total reconstruction done (off my foot for 3 months, in a boot for another 2). When I finally got cleared to move my foot the doctor and PT told me stretch, stretch, stretch. Alot of stretching and re-strengthing the muscles affected and I'm back on the Bike 2 1/2 years later. When I got back on the bike my achilles was sore to start with but with alot of stretching it now is not a issue at all. Good luck.
10-25-09, 01:09 AM
Move your cleats back. This will take some of the load off of your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, and reduce the strain on the achilles tendons. It doesn't have to be a ton, and it helps. Don't forget to move your saddle to compensate.
As for your current injury: rest, ice, anti-inflammatories.
10-26-09, 08:18 AM
The feedback is helpful, thanks.
This morning I got up & walked without the pain I assumed should follow from working yesterday. In fact, I forgot that I was injured until my girlfriend asked me how I felt (it was only after I walked up some steps did the aches & sharper pains return). This might mean that I avoided tear(s) in the tendons, I hope. But I'm not taking chances: my gf is loaning me her car for the week (she's bussing it, lil' trooper) and I'm setting up an appt w/ a sports med doctor. There's a few sites recommending self massage w/ arnica cream so I'm doing that 3-4x/day.
Machka - I did find a UK website w/ videos (how to test for torn tendons, how to wrap to protect the achilles, etc) - but nothing so far for active release therapy. I did come across some yoga stretches for the achilles but, as you suggested, these will need to wait a few weeks. But 6 months? That would be only be if I actually tore or partially tore the tendons right?
I think the saddle height isn't the culprit. One detail I left out of my initial post: not being used to so much mileage for so many hours, I kept sitting upright, no hands, & leaning backwards in the saddle. I also stood up on the pedals in these moments for a little stretching (I know this is a little unsafe). Sitting/standing up relieves the neck strain I normally get. However, the 'laying back' to an almost recumbent posture was a new variation and the probable cause as it did put stress into that exact region of my legs. Needless to say, I won't do that again.
Tadawy - I'm doing the cleats asap. During my long rides, my big toes tend to go numb. The cleat position is def part of the problem.
Thanks again everyone for your informative responses!
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