About achilles tendinitus

September 19, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More

I found myself in an unusual situation last week. A man kept reaching down and touching my feet while we were trying to have a conversation. It actually wasn’t so bad, because he was my new podiatrist, and he was excellent. I learned that I have achilles tendinitis. It’s time to implement several conservative measures and it will likely go away over the next few months. Which is good, because I hit a low yesterday, limping all day. It’s great to know what is going on, and now I also have x-rays of my feet as souvenirs (maybe I’ll frame them and put them on my walls). He said that this is not a disease, but an injury. It’s not an “old” person’s problem. He said that professional athletes have this issue. I think he was trying to portray me to be like a professional athlete.

For those in St. Louis, my new doctor’s name is Richard Brandel, DPM, a board certified podiatrist located in Clayton, MO. It was an amazingly pleasant experience. I called today, and the receptionist slipped me in a few hours later, due to a cancellation. Dr. Brandel spent LOTS of time explaining the situation to me in clear detail, answering all of my many questions for a condition that has frustrated me for several months.

The frustrating news is that it takes about as long to get over achilles tendinitis as it took to get into bad shape.


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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Edgar Montrose says:

    Erich, could this injury be related to your bicycling? I’ve been cycling for my entire adult life, but not until this year did I experience any leg problems (in my case, knees). I stumbled across this article — http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/04/power-to-the-pedal-cleat-position/ — tried moving my cleats as far back as my shoes would allow, and my knee pain has all but disappeared. Perhaps you might get similar relief in your Achilles tendons.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Edgar: I don’t think it’s bike related. I can cycle without making things worse. It’s running that did me in, after a month of a lot of carrying heavy things up and down the stairs of my new house. I’ve ridden 10 miles without any exacerbation.

      Glad to hear you found relief.

  2. Ben says:

    Erich, I had a heel spur affect my left leg/calf achilles. It was over 2 decades ago.

    I’ve had most of the common injuries. The achilles being one of the peskier injuries for the reasons that it is large/powerful, commonly used, and is weight bearing.

    Like most injuries, you can ease the pressure on it by gently loosening (stretching is a controversial word) the areas connected to it, and opposing it. Also you must stop stairs, or take them as sparingly (use the good leg) as possible until pain is gone. (This will be 3-6 weeks and then you will still deal with stiffness and have to be careful for 5-8 months.)

    Stretch/loosen your toes and arch of foot as part of your warm up on that foot. Stretch the heck out of that hamstring on that leg at least 4 times a day.

    *However, be careful when stretching the injured calf/achilles, keep in mind that it is working every step you take and really just needs rest and relaxation (and then in a few months gradually increase strengthening and flexibility exercises).

    My own achilles tendonitis did linger for several years through soccer and basketball etc. I probably didnt stretch my calves enough (prior to developing heel spur and tendonitis) and was remaining way too active throughout the time — causing inflammation.

    Additionally, stretch the quadriceps, groin, itb, and the front of your shin/tibia (by pointing your foot all the way forward or pulling your leg all the way behind your back.) Also don’t forget about stretching your good leg!

    Use an ice pack at night directly applied, literally try to freeze the tendon through the skin (of course your skin will go numb so you have to be vigilant about taking it off after 10-12 mins). Repeat once, after you can feel sensation in your skin again.

    Think about trying a new brand of sneakers (Nike is my choice). See if you can get away with wearing black Nike high-tops at work. Tie them snugly using ALL the lace holes and they will provide lateral support and reduce movement. They are a godsend for my current injury — lower ankle tendonitis (which had begun to linger). The pain left immediately, and a few weeks later I am back to 90 percent.

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