Achilles Tendonitis problem! Spring is here and just started running.

by 31 years old


Now that warmer weather has arrived, I started running again last week. Going against my better judgment, I really pushed it hard right out the gate. I felt great, even though I knew I should be taking it easier.

At some point after my 5th or 6th run, I noticed that my left achilles tendon was tender while walking back home after exercising. I chalked it up to the fact that I had just started running again, so there were bound to be some kinks that would work themselves out. I ran on it a couple more times (mistake) as there was no pain experienced when I ran. Only doing "normal" things afterwards.

Eventually, the tendon became very tender and swollen, so I wised up and ceased running for the time being. I've been icing as much as I can, upped my protein, fish oil, and other anti-inflammatory food intake, and do light stretching occasionally. Walking is much better now, I can barely feel the tenderness. However, I've tried to do some toe raises (just to see what would happen) and that causes pain (and an off-putting "crunching" feeling coming from the tendon).

It's still slightly swollen, the pain has lessened, I don't feel any "hot spots" or bumps, just a general soreness.

Any ideas as to what this might be? I'm trying not to self-diagnose. I'll definitely consult with my physician if this continues for an extended period of time.

Thanks for your help!


Joshua Answers:

Hi 31. You're welcome.

Well, my first thought is, welcome to not being 18 anymore.

I noticed right about age 29 that things didn't bounce back as fast, broke down a little more obviously, etc. Good times.

So it makes sense that out of the blue you started running but this time you're lacking the benefits of youth that keep us going without having to think about it or worry about it.

It's time for a whole new game of how to keep your machine operating pain free, which includes and avoids Achilles Tendonitis and other running injury.

The good news is that it's totally doable. The bad news is that it takes some effort.

So at this point it sounds like you are doing all the right things.

A couple questions about your probable Achilles Tendonitis:

1. How are you icing? Ice Pack or Ice Massage? How long, how much?

2. Give me a timeline. When did you start running, how long has it been since you stopped, how long between running and now you can walk without pain but there's soreness and swelling.

3. Where exactly does it hurt?

4. Can you find the exact spot/area on the Achilles Tendon?

At this point it's important to know that just resting it and staying off it isn't likely to heal it back to 100%. It's likely there's tendonitis and tendonosis of the Achilles Tendon.

So while rest reduces further irritation, let's keep working it, and start adding in appropriate measures to heal it now while it's new and fresh, instead of limping along with it for the next 10 years before you commit to fixing it.

Answer the above questions and we'll go from there.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Achilles Tendonitis problem! Spring is here and just started running.

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Dec 21, 2011
Swelling started AFTER icing routine.
by: Anonymous

Any update to this? I stopped running six months ago when a faint soreness started in my achilles, very close to the foot bone. When I found this article I started doing ice massage and then ice dipping.

Swelling started AFTER I started icing regularly, going through being very painful to touch with the ice at first and now, when I do the ice dipping, it swells a bit, but that usually reduces.

Do I just keep going? Why did the swelling start AFTER I started icing? Would love to hear a follow up, seems somewhat similar to my instance.


Joshua Comments.

Hi Anonymous.

No response from the original poster, it seems. iced and THEN swelling happened?

That's unusual, though I can see a couple scenarios where it makes sense.

Scenario #1. You ice massaged in such a way that you irritated the pain dynamic (rubbed on a spot of injury/scar tissue build up, or just too deep which caused pain which caused the body to react with more inflammation response).

Scenario #2. Your body has a heightened inflammation response to cold. No big deal, but it's good to know.

But swelling from ice dipping is super rare. Not bad, but rare, and I'd like to hear more about exactly what you have going on.

Give me a more detailed history and symptoms, and a more detailed picture of the whole 'icing causes swelling' thing.

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