Misdiagnosed Achilles Tendonitis? Really A Nerve Pain Problem?

by David

I have had heel pain, in the back of the heel for over 6 months now.

I am on the 2nd orthopedic surgeon who stated the mri showed minimal scarring of the achilles.

I am 48 and fairly inactive, desk job. Doctor said therapy, etc.. would help. Nothing has helped, still in pain.

However, this is the part I don't understand. I do not have a sore heel. I don't get the "sore muscle " pain. I get nerve pain. It shoots hard at the back of my heel, hangs on for about 2-4 seconds, then leaves as fast as it came. Also, I have discovered that if i press my finger into my hamstring, or near my groin, I can cause the same pain in my heel anytime I want to..

Any ideas?

The doctor stated he was going perform an ultrasound to make sure nerves are mapping correctly? Are we on the right track that it could have been sciatic, or an l4, 5 situation?

I would appreciate any opinions on this.

Thank you for your time.


Joshua Answers:

Hey David. Thanks for asking.

Interesting. I have some thoughts, but let me ask a few questions first to make sure I'm on the right track.

1. Have you had this kind of pain previously of the past 6 months? Ever?

2. Is the nerve pain a 'ouch' pain like muscle soreness/ache/spasm, or a tingly, shocking/electrical, funny bone kind of thing? There's lots of variety of pain,please describe for me.

3. Were you actually diagnosed with Achilles Tendonitis. Doesn't sound like it's your issue, and I don't put much stock in diagnoses usually anyway, but it's good information. If so, what did the doctor say about it at the time?

4. What have you done for it? Has anything helped? Has anything made it worse?

5. Any health issues?

6. Can you press anywhere in the leg and get that response, or are there just certain spots?

7. How and when does this nerve pain show up? How long does it last? Does it hurt at night in bed?

Ultrasound to see if nerves are mapping right.....that doesn't even make sense to me. I'll leave it at that, and just say that my opinion is that it would be a waste of your time, unless the doctor is looking for tumors or Deep Vein Thrombosis or some other medical danger.

Tendonitis has it's own predictable and reliable set of symptoms and complaints. Doesn't really sound like you have that.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

Little bit of scar tissue on the Achilles Tendon? Shrug. Only a problem if it's a problem.

My first thought is that this nerve pain is due to nutritional deficiency. If so, it will just be a matter of getting your specific levels up.

I'll say more about that later once you give me more clues.

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.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

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

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Comments for Misdiagnosed Achilles Tendonitis? Really A Nerve Pain Problem?

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Jan 01, 2010
Nerve pain too
by: Anonymous

I also have the same nerve pain as David. I have never had any tendon problems and have done nothing to inflame the area.

What were your suggestions for treatment?



Joshua Comments:

Hello Roberta.

The safe palce to start to cover one's bases and see the results of, is:

1. Magnesium taken as described on the page that link.

2. Get your Vitamin D level checked. Then get your Vitamin D level UP with Vitamin D3 (not D2).

3. Vitamin B6. If you have inflammation, Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency.

B6 deficiency can causes Carpal Tunnel Symptoms. It can certainly be a player in other nerve/muscle kind of issues.

4. Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin). Safe and effective dosage to get one's level up, as shown by a variety of research studies, is 1,500-2,500mcg (mcg, not mg) per day. If that doesn't help after two weeks, then that's not the problem.

B12 is a big player in nerve pain, peripheral neuropathy, etc.

Get those bases covered. Please keep us updated and let us know what you do and what the results are.

Mar 30, 2013
Sounds much like me
by: Linda

A month ago I developed a numb feeling on the outside of my right foot. There is a spot just to the side of my Achilles about 5 inches up which if I press on it, I get a tingly feeling right in the area of the numbness. I was checked for D3, B12 and had a spinal xray. Doctor is quite puzzled. To complicate things, I have a similar sensation on the left foot but milder.


Joshua Comments:

What's your Vitamin D level, in 'ng/ml'?

Aug 15, 2015
Heel Pain not much during running or jumping
by: Anonymous

Similar symptoms here. Don't feel it much during running or jumping. If I sit on chair and extend the leg to straight while flexing my toes back towards me I get brief sharp pain.

Doesn't seem muscular or tendon related. No pain when doing calf raises etc.

Aug 13, 2016
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad I read this! I can lightly brush my heel and cause pain shooting up my calf and even up through my hamstring area.

Just started a week ago. It's the equivalent to having a sensitive tooth but it's MY LEG. it's awful. I've been treating achilles tendinitis for over a year. (Graston) At least that's what I assume it is.

Could this really be a deficiency in nutrition? I'm on the verge of going to a neurologist.


Joshua Comments:

Hi AnonyWow.

Yes, it really could be, whether it's a primary or secondary factor.

Pretty easy to find out.....

I'm be curious what a neurologist would say about it after examination.

And, no symptom like that when getting the Graston?

Aug 14, 2016
by: Anonymous

I've had ACL replacement, gout,and a few calf injuries. I also have flat feet, and hate wearing my $300 insoles. I formed a large bump on my achilles.

All indication of tendonitis.

So I've had my therapist work on it using Graston. I'm not too sure it's helped much, and it's very painful treatment. This new nerve pain is brand new. It truly feels like when there's an exposed tooth nerve being hit with cold water... but it's MY LEG! I'm going to buy B12 and Cal Mag and see if it helps. BUT, I'm skeptical that's all it is.


Joshua Comments:

DO NOT GET cal/mag. You'll end up taking too much calcium. Get a magnesium only supplement. NOT magnesium oxide.

Where all is the graston therapist working?

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