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Achilles Pain - going a little bit insane

kjetilfankjetilfan Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
Hi All,

Hoping someone might be able to give me some advice before I go mad.

Bit of backstory (I will try not to waffle, but I do have a habit of it)

Back in 2010 I slightly hurt my achilles. Pain went away in a short period of time, and forgot about it.

2014 got serious about my health. Dropped 20kg and was well on track to where I wanted to be. I hurt my achilles again, this time on a rowing machine. VERY foolishly and without much knowledge of the injury, I tried to exercise through it. Got to the stage where walking at pace was too difficult.

Went to a physio and received rehab advice. Was unable to stick to it fully, and suffered a severe lack of motivation.

A couple years later tried to get back into working out. Achilles pain again, so I rehabbed it ok this time. However, one thing led to another and 2 years later, after no real exercise, I had no pain. I assumed rest was the answer.

Now, trying to get back into exercise, and being 100% committed, the pain has returned. I can walk, but jogging or incline work makes the pain noticeable - even now just sitting here it is aching after doing nothing more than walking today.

The question is, am I forever stuck in a futile attempt to rehab, or is the pain something I just need to accept. If after 2 years of no pain, am I just fooling myself that I am going to be able to return to the fitness workload I was able to do just a few years ago?

Walking doesn't feel satisfying, even with no pain. I had success with jogging, incline walking, rowing, cycling last time. But outside of cycling, the others are causing low grade, but annoying pain.

And if I do need to try and somehow rehab again, can anyone advice a cardio based workout I can incorporate to stop myself going crazy? Even the thought of rehab stresses me, as the last 2 times I have went to my physio, the rehab procedure has changed completely.

Thanks in advance.


  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 17,721 Member Member Posts: 17,721 Member
    The achilles tendon takes an incredibly long time to heal. When I hurt mine, I was advised to rest them for 6 months. Then I could think about starting rehab.

    I didn't ... I couldn't be still for that long, especially since I commuted by bicycle or bus and walking in those days. I rested them for a couple months, and then started exercising again. Unfortunately that meant I was dealing with achilles issues for about 6 years. Even now, 18 years later, I have to be really careful.

    Give your achilles at least 3 months rest. Focus on your upper body ... I did that during the 2 months I took off and developed great abs! Then go to physio and stick with it.

    Also, go to a running shoe specialist who knows about achilles tendon issues and have them recommend the proper shoes for you.

    And you may be able to do other activities. In my case, I damaged my achilles riding bicycle, and once I had damaged them, I couldn't run either. But sometimes people who damage them running are able to ride bicycle. Just be sure to have the bicycle set up properly!!

  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,166 Member Member Posts: 18,166 Member

    This is about the only protocol shown in studies to actually have a good benefit and a reason for it.
    And you can easily do this on your own, no need for going to rehab to be watched doing it.

    I also had 2 ART (Active Release Technique) sessions on the calf in general since it was so tight, and he loosened up the achilles too, prior to starting.

    After the protocol was ran - no issues except normal tight achilles I've always had.
    Stop the exercise that specifically uses the achilles, except warmup walking prior to doing the protocol.

    Just like Plantar fasciitis, you can drag this out for years if you really want to foul it up - or buckle up and do it right.

    My injury was a series of squat sessions slightly different form to take care of another issue, and due to limited ankle mobility, heel was leaving ground and that was bad strain on achilles on 1 side.
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Member Posts: 6,174 Member Member Posts: 6,174 Member
    I got it last summer. I had to ice after every run, stretch more, ease into workouts. Taking turmeric daily seems to help a little. I got new running shoes and now my pain is almost gone! I only get a twinge here and there. It does take time and patience. Stick to your rehab..But new/different shoes might be needed.
    edited November 16
  • RunsWithBeesRunsWithBees Member Posts: 1,319 Member Member Posts: 1,319 Member
    I get Achilles issues once every few years because I’m a runner who loves hills and can easily overdo it sometimes. I’ve tried a lot of remedies but the one thing that I’ve found always helps my Achilles’ tendons heal up unbelievably fast is something I absolutely hate... foam rolling! I loathe foam rolling but when done correctly it ALWAYS heals me up in days instead of weeks/months. It seems too good to be true but it’s never failed since I started doing it. But I still hate doing it :# I have no idea how it works but it works for me. Foam rolling can be done as a preventative measure, post workout or for pain. Not sure if it would work for you as your injury could be different, of course consult with your doc/physio first :)
    edited November 18
  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Member Posts: 9,066 Member Member Posts: 9,066 Member
    I used to get Achilles tendon issues when I neglected my stretching and my calf strength exercises.


  • jondorf13jondorf13 Member Posts: 5 Member Member Posts: 5 Member
    I got right partial tear achilles tendon 3 years ago due to basketball, it took me 2 months for rehab and a year before playing game again, as of today my right calf is noticeable thinner than my left calf.

    If you feel tight and pain with your calf, just give em a rest and do a leg stretching before any activity or sports to play.
  • lgfrielgfrie Member, Premium Posts: 1,243 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,243 Member
    I got a partial tear and then really bad inflammation of my Achilles tendon overdoing it on my treadmill in 2015. Dr said no to surgery, and to focus on rehab. Spent 4-5 months in a leg brace, physical therapy, etc etc etc. At the end of all that, I expected things to basically go back to normal (even though the dr said they wouldn't), but they didn't. My ankle remains, five years later, very weak. Almost anything will cause it to get inflamed. I can't run or jog at all, and walking uphill (or at an incline on a treadmill), or for too long, will make it sore. I used to do 12-13 mile hikes, but now I'm pretty much limited to 3 mile walks. By mile 4 I am shot for the day, and possibly for the week. I've reached the conclusion that my dr was right from the beginning, when he said things were going to have to change big time.

    The one thing that has helped me are heel lifts - they slide right under the inner soul of shoes and only cost a few bucks, but they do help. They sort of keep your feet pointed down a bit, as if you were walking downhill on a 3-4 degree gradient. Very helpful, as is getting some running shoes that have a heel life of 10-12 mm. Both accomplish the same thing, taking pressure off the Achilles tendon by not having it stretch as much with each step. You might find some sense of normalcy of ankle function if you experiment with that a bit.

    I bought a recumbent bike so there'd be a regular exercise I could do. At first I didn't much like it, but at this point I've taken to it as a good form of cardio. The cool thing about recumbent biking is that it seems to put zero stress on my ankle or other not-so-great joints, which cannot be said of any other form of exercise aside from swimming, and I don't have regular access to a pool (or want it). I guess I would recommend trying to embrace biking while waiting to see if your ankle will ever be strong enough to go back to what you had before.
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