Achilles Tendonitis is a common injury that affects people of all walks of life. I’ve suffered from it on a couple of different occasions and each time it seemed to stem from a different activity. The common thread between all of those injuries is simple – it just plain hurts.
Through experience I have a good understanding of how to treat the injury. Ice and rest are key and some stretching doesn’t hurt. Perhaps I should rephrase that, the stretching hurts but it doesn’t worsen the injury.
I have a feeling that this latest instance of Achilles Tendonitis stemmed from my recent attempt to get back into running. My first day running lead to fatigue in my calf muscles and I think that put a burden on my Achilles Tendon – which caused inflammation.
Each run since then has put more stress on the tendon. The issue started out as stiffness but the activity actually seemed to loosen it up. The problem set in the morning after a run when the tendon felt overly tight and tender.
I continued to run, sometimes on back to back days, and felt pretty good about my progress. Eventually the stiffness blossomed into full blown pain. I got out of bed one morning and nearly fell over when I tried putting weight on my left foot.
With some gentle stretching I was able to loosen up the tendon enough to allow me to limp on it. I continued on with my day and made an effort to get up from my desk every half hour to take a little walk around the office.
The activity kept the pain down and I was able to get through my day without too much discomfort. Maybe I was a little delirious but a thought crossed my mind – If walking was helping wouldn’t a slow jog be even better?
The first quarter mile was brutal and every step felt like a lightning bolt at the base of my Achilles Tendon. Suddenly the pain began to dissipate and the run was fairly pleasant. I still had some discomfort but it wasn’t enough to make me stop and turn around.
After I reached nearly 1.5 miles the pain came back in a sudden wave. My calf and Achilles Tendon hurt, my heel felt mushy, and the back of my leg actually felt hot. I stopped running and limped my way back home.
The remainder of the night was rough and the following morning was the worst it has even been when it comes to this particular injury.
I hate the idea of taking time off from running, especially since I just got started again, but I don’t know that I have much choice. I’m going to need to rest the leg, ice it, and begin routine stretching. In the meantime perhaps I’ll give the elliptical a try – if that doesn’t work out perhaps the stationary bike will be pain free.