Achilles Tendinitis in a 62 Year Old Competitive Sprinter!
I'm a 62 year old master's sprinter, I've been plagued with achilles tendonitis (on and off) for a while now, it is only in my left tendon, one small hot spot, I believe there is a bump there.
I've tried almost everything you mentioned, ultrasound, PT, etc, the ONLY thing that seems to help is ICE.
After a pain-free Fall and Winter, the problem started again, I believe I was overstretching, ie; stair stretches, standing on a rocker arm device, now I only do wall push ups, and have stayed on the grass for 98% of my workouts.
The problem is, my season starts in 3 weeks and I've yet to put the spikes on, should I now religiously start your ice therapy treatment as many times per day as I can?
Am I reading correctly that with ice dipping, it's done every two hours for ONLY 10-15 seconds at a time? Also, what about a SMALL, 1/8 " heel lift, have you had any success with that? Thank you for a GREAT article and hope to hear from you.
Hi Gary. Let's get you into competition shape.
So let's see...in no particular order....1.
If you can only find one small hot spot, that's good news. A bump makes sense.2.
Ultrasound, PT, etc, isn't bad, it just doesn't seem to be the RIGHT tool for the specific job.
Ice, however, is your best friend.3.
RE: a heel lift for Achilles Tendonitis. I'm not a fan in theory or in real practice.
Theoretically a heel lift is going to tilt you forward some, which can be problematic for shin splints. Also, heel lifts aren't a 'fix', and I prefer to put effort into a fix instead of something that doesn't reverse the problem and just slows the progressive pattern of something like Achilles Tendonitis.
In real practice, your calves and Achilles tendon are already too chronically contracted and too short, with too much constant tension on the tendon and hot spot.
A heel lift may 'help' by shortening the structure and taking the tension off the lesion site, but you can see how that just helps make the entire structure even shorter.
And the body will adjust to that by basically shrink wrapping down to the new shortness, which will become the new normal, which will then result in MORE tension on the spot of tendonitis when you aren't wearing the heel lift, and then even when you are.
You -could- wear one ONLY when you train, and ONLY for a week or so while you Ice like crazy, to eliminate a small amount of tension and negative communication to the nervous system.
Not worth it in my mind, but it won't hurt to experiment with it.4.
YES, now is a great time to
throw yourself at Ice Dipping and Ice Massage
. Religiously and Fanatically.
If you hit it like your life depends on it, it is well within the realm of possibility that you can help your body heal the problem within the next couple of weeks. Or at the very least get out of pain or very close too it, such that you can still train and compete and continue to ice to help your body heal.
Due to various factors, it can take a good long while to 'heal' Achilles Tendonitis. But the pain is almost solely due to the Inflammation Process and Pain Enhancing Chemical, and you can get that out fast. Which will then help the healing process immensely.5.
Over a 2 hour period, Ice Dip a minimum of 10x, for 10-15 seconds each. Ice cold, and immersed as high as possible. Ice Massage as directed. Again, the more the merrier.
But not too much:)6.
With light, gentle streching, add in Stretching By Hand. This is self massage, but not just squeezing and rubbing. Push and pull into the tissue of the calf muscles such that your are stretching the tissue manually in a variety of directions.7.
Also, my across the board suggestion to you is to:
A. If you're not already, start a good high level of Omega-3 fatty acids/fish oil. These are anti-inflammatory, and vital on so many other levels.
B. Lay out in the sun regularly and/or take a good loading dose of Vit D3. See the Vit D pages at www.easy-immune-health.com
C. Increase your protein intake. Protein is the building block required to heal the wear and tear damage of Tendonosis and Tendonitis of the Achilles Tendon. I'm confident in predicting that you don't eat enough protein.
Also, I have a couple questions:
1. How bad does that little hot spot hurt and/or limit you?
2. When did it first show up? Years ago? Decades ago?
Ask whatever questions that come up. I'm happy to help.
Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert