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Achilles Tendonitis...how long to wait till I can ride again?

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Achilles Tendonitis...how long to wait till I can ride again?

Old 04-20-10, 04:01 AM
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seanthebear
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Achilles Tendonitis...how long to wait till I can ride again?

Hi all. I did a double century at the weekend and ended up with bad achilles tendonitis in both heels (I can barely walk right now). My question of anyone who has suffered this themselves is: how long to rest once pain has subsided before getting on the bike? How long before amping up the miles?

I am registered for a 50 km race on May 1st which would have been my competitive debut but I very much fear I will have to pull out. How big a risk of rupturing the tendons would there be if I htfu-ed it and strapped the ankles and rode?
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Old 04-20-10, 04:29 AM
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I damaged my achilles tendons on a 1200K randonnee in 2002 ... micro tears.

I didn't ride at all (or walk) for two weeks, and then I started commuting again ... about 15 km a day for the next month. I see from my records that I did do a 97 km ride in about the middle of that month, but that would not have been a race. It would have been quite a slow gentle ride. A couple weeks after that ride, I was off the bicycle a week, I tried to ride a few more days, and then was off for another two weeks. Then I rode on and off for the next month ... mainly just my commute. I tried some longer distance stuff for a bit ... and then was off the bicycle for another two weeks. Etc. Etc.

In other words ... I tried to ride, but kept re-injuring myself and having setbacks. Years later, I still struggle with achilles tendon issues. I wear ankle braces on all my long rides, and most of my hilly rides.

If you are going to wrap your ankles, make sure you do it properly ... it's different from wrapping for a sprained ankle. Get a Dr to show you how to do it.

You also have to think about the cause of the problem. In my case, my saddle was too high ... and was especially too high for riding in the hills.
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Old 04-20-10, 04:57 AM
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tks for the info Machka. As to cause I think it might be changing to zero float cleats the day before the event. I had the LBS change them for me and only now have I noticed they positioned the cleats at the furtherest forward position. I think the combination of a sudden change in cleat position and the sudden increase in ride distance just blew out the tendons. They were already hurting after the first day (2 day event).
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Old 04-20-10, 06:36 AM
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Go see an Orthopedist or a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor that does sports medicine.

A ruptured achilles requires surgical repair, and will put you out of commission for months.

Worth a Doctor visit, to get a professional opinion. Not worth messing around with.
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Old 04-20-10, 07:10 AM
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I had Achilles Tendonitis last year, and after about 3 weeks off the bike and constantly having a compression wrap on, I was good to go. I took it easy when I started rising again because I was worried about doing the same thing again.
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Old 04-20-10, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Go see an Orthopedist or a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor that does sports medicine.

A ruptured achilles requires surgical repair, and will put you out of commission for months.

Worth a Doctor visit, to get a professional opinion. Not worth messing around with.
Unfortunately I'm in Taiwan where sports doctors are virtually non-existent. Its not ruptured anyway so I'll rest it tomorrow and if the swelling doesn't subside try and find a professional. I'm thinking ultrasound would be good. I've basically reconciled myself to a DNS for the race.
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Old 04-20-10, 07:45 AM
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I hurt mine last year also after a 150 MS ride.. I couldn't walk after the end of the 2nd day.. That was in Sept and I'm finally able to ride 50 miles without them hurting...
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Old 04-20-10, 08:45 AM
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I took 2 weeks off when it happened to me. No problems on return.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:53 AM
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X2 on going to see the doctor.
I had tendinits in my ankle and it kept me off for 6 weeks and even after that I had to ease back into and make sure i did lots of stretching. During the 6 weeks i was in PT and on anti-inflammatory meds. it sucked.
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Old 04-20-10, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by seanthebear View Post
Hi all. I did a double century at the weekend and ended up with bad achilles tendonitis in both heels (I can barely walk right now). My question of anyone who has suffered this themselves is: how long to rest once pain has subsided before getting on the bike? How long before amping up the miles?

I am registered for a 50 km race on May 1st which would have been my competitive debut but I very much fear I will have to pull out. How big a risk of rupturing the tendons would there be if I htfu-ed it and strapped the ankles and rode?

My guess is a month or so..........Achilles tendonitis in one foot is bad enough but in both are a real pain and healing will be different in both.
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Old 04-20-10, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
My guess is a month or so..........Achilles tendonitis in one foot is bad enough but in both are a real pain and healing will be different in both.
the right foot seems ok now but the left one is bad....seeing a doctor later...
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Old 04-20-10, 06:48 PM
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I had post tibial tendinitis in my left foot at the start of the racing season last year. I took a week off and came back. It would come back pretty hard every few weeks of hard rides and I'd have to take a day or two off. Not fun.

It's much better now, but had I aggravated it more, it would have gone way outta whack.
I have a friend with bad Achilles issues. He's a runner and had to get activated platelets injected in there to get it to heal faster. If he runs at all now, months after the injury and treatment, he can't walk for a few days...

Don't treat these injuries lightly.
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Old 04-20-10, 07:31 PM
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Google about for treatment. There isn't much that works.
One thing that helps seems to be

Stand on something like stairs with your heals off. Raise yourself with your good leg, or with your arms
Lower yourself very slowly with using your injured leg. Do it 15 times twice a day. Do not lift using the injured leg.

Heal.

Worked for me.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:47 PM
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now from the other side of this, i got tendonitis from running which ended up turning into tendonosis during the spring of my sr yr of hs. in order to still be able to compete in track i trained on the bike everyday. i did see a physical therapist once a week and he did not recomend me against riding. he said since it is a static force and not a repeated on and off like running, it was actually not stressing my achilles nearly as bad as running. i came back 100% and felt no problems during my cycling even during a time where i could barely run 200 meters before needing to stop.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:15 AM
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tks for all your input peoples. i saw a specialist and he said its actually the tendon sheaths that are inflamed. highly unusual that both are inflamed together. the left foot is worse because of pre-exisiting scar tissue (football injury). am doing ultrasound therapy and he gave me some exercises to do. 4 to 6 weeks to full recovery but might be able to do light training after 3. just hope i don't pile on the pounds in the interim. fortunately my physical therapist seems pretty clued up and will work out some cardio routines for me to work around the injury.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:38 AM
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Ive had serious tedinitis in femoral bicep, kept me off the bike for best part of 2 years because I didnt treat it properly in the first place. See a doc and give it twice as much rest as they recommend. You might loose traininng time now but if you dont treat it right it could be with you for years.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:08 AM
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I would also say you should get a fitting done. Get those cleats back where they should be so you dont repeat this injury. Good luck with the racing/riding.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:25 PM
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that's grim. good luck. don't rush the healing process. sometimes bad things happen to good people and sometimes our "seasons" get messed up. my current spouse broke her knee cap last spring and totally messed up EVERYONES plans right into the summer ... ugh used up 2 weeks of MY vacation time too!
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Old 04-29-10, 08:24 AM
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Just because it seems like most had an easier time in dealing with achilles tendinitis/tendinosis, I wanted to stress that you should not ride through the pain!

I made that mistake this winter. On February 1, after years of chronic tendinitis in the left achilles it became really bad after mountain biking and I haven't been able to ride since then. I thought I'd be healed by now, and I've been doing eccentric strength training (described above) since March 3rd, with little improvement. The research shows that it takes about 3 months of the strength training to be back at full capacity with no pain, but I'm skeptical in my case.

Depending on how bad it is and how often you ride, I'd even suggest getting a sports psychology book, and trying to get yourself into the zone of planning for the future, and getting serious about rest and rehab. The mental struggle can be as hard the physical struggle, and it takes a lot to stay positive about it when its long term.

Hopefully, taking the bull by the horns right now will prevent me from ever having to worry about it again, and it's really in everyone's best interest to deal with it now rather than ignore it, because it won't just go away.

Good luck!
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Old 04-30-10, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SeanMA View Post
Just because it seems like most had an easier time in dealing with achilles tendinitis/tendinosis, I wanted to stress that you should not ride through the pain!

Depending on how bad it is and how often you ride, I'd even suggest getting a sports psychology book, and trying to get yourself into the zone of planning for the future, and getting serious about rest and rehab. The mental struggle can be as hard the physical struggle, and it takes a lot to stay positive about it when its long term.
+1
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Old 05-01-10, 03:59 AM
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Just an update in case anyone's interested. Got on the bike today and did a very slow 5 kms before seeing my physical therapist; a few twinges but nothing too dramatic. She was pleased with the progress of recovery and says in a week I can maybe cycle to the clinic (about 15 kms). Will start pool running next week to strengthen the legs and get some cardio exercise. Touch wood and everything but the prognosis seems good; will be staying in the lower gears though and off the hills for a while yet. The other good news is I'm holding my weight under 80 kgs.

God it felt good just to get on the bike though!
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Old 05-01-10, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by seanthebear View Post
Just an update in case anyone's interested. Got on the bike today and did a very slow 5 kms before seeing my physical therapist; a few twinges but nothing too dramatic. She was pleased with the progress of recovery and says in a week I can maybe cycle to the clinic (about 15 kms). Will start pool running next week to strengthen the legs and get some cardio exercise. Touch wood and everything but the prognosis seems good; will be staying in the lower gears though and off the hills for a while yet. The other good news is I'm holding my weight under 80 kgs.

God it felt good just to get on the bike though!
I still say get a fitting done. Sounds to me like your clearts are to far forward, this puts excessive presure on your calf, which is connected by your achilies. Dont go through all of this just to reinjure yourself. good that you are getting some relief and coming back. good luck.
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Old 05-01-10, 08:02 AM
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I had the sheath on my Achilles Tendon irritated as well, only one though you lucky guy. I got to listen to popping noises as I tried to flex my foot as well as the pain. I ended up being off the bike for about 6 weeks and doing therapy for 3 weeks. I switched to platform pedals from clips and no more problems. I ride a lot and the platform pedals allow me to move my foot around and get different positions and angles so that in the two years since I have not had a reoccurence :-) Good Luck on your recovery
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Old 05-01-10, 07:15 PM
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Yeah I moved the cleats back all the way already. I plan on getting a fitting done although its hard in Taiwan to find someone to do it....most "fittings" here are just for leg length to adjust the seat height!

@DARRELLA I thought about swapping out the pedals during the recovery period. but first I'll see how the tendons hold up. Sounds like your injury was more severe though if you got popping noises and you were off the bike 6 weeks.
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