Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
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Ice! In addition to stretching calves and hammies, you must ice! min 10 min, max 20 min/session. I have an icepack w/ velcro straps so can slap it on when I get home and still chase the kids to wherever they need to be chased.
And ibuprofen. The amount past the label that you can go in dose depends on your bodyweight. It's worth going to an MD for this. I'm in the middle of it now. Horror stories I've heard are truly horrible (worst was one guy, 6 months off his feet!!).
Any chance you have flat feet, or just pronate a lot? New insoles for your shoes (biking and otherwise) could help. My MD said superfeet brand or equivalent, not Dr Scholls. He was so extensively clueless on stretching (and knew it), very glad I went to PT for help w/ that. She is doing this other insanely painful manipulation to break up tight spots in my calves, hopefully that's working, but who knows. I guess I wasn't seeing colors last time I went, so that's progress. One more visit w/ her then I'm free.
One thing my PT, a biker, said was not to mess w/ my bike positioning at all, since that could mess up my knees once the ankles are straightened out . But then again my ankles blew up from an attempt at running, not any change in my biking, which had been working, or functioning at least. But the ankles were primed to go anyway from my insanely tight calves.
So stretch! Umm, not for a long time, but often. My goal is 60 sec/leg/hr. If I can do that 6x/day I'm doing OK.
So for me, in rough order of importance, 1) stop running, 2a) start stretching and icing, 2b) reduce biking (200 miles/wk down to ~90; this would drop to zero if no stretching/icing) 3) insoles everywhere, no more bare feet at home, and 4) ibuprofen and I am feeling better after a month of that (not been way overvolting the ibuprofen that whole time; I just remembered there's a whole flamewar here in the last couple weeks about whether to take that at all). After wks of that hourly stretching and occasional PT manipulation, she now has another month's worth (if they go well, longer otherwise) of strengthening exercises for me and after that, I can try to add low-key running or more biking back in.
Also, right in there w/ insoles, paying a lot more attention to posture, not hyperextending my ankles either way (up or down), work on keeping them at 90 when sitting, and walking to a lesser extent, focus on bending foot at ball of foot when walking (bending more sharply at knee). A lot of that is probably specific to me and the state of my tendons rather than any random person w/ achilles problems. Again, worth a visit to a person who's seen a lot of ankles before.
And, I've cut way back on coffee, way up on water. Probably down to 2-3 qts of coffee a day now, and maybe up to 2-3x as much water. Used to get a lot of cramps, haven't had one since I've been doing all this crazy stuff to deal w/ achilles.
Last edited by HardyWeinberg; 07-05-07 at 10:09 AM.