Achilles Tendonitis, and Want To Be Running Again

by Karen
(Coral Springs, FL USA)

I am a runner, last year I averaged 35 miles a week, did multiple races and the 2008 Chicago Marathon. Since around the end of Oct. 2008 I have had achilles pain and tightening.

I ignored it for the month of Nov. 2008. I have not run on it since Dec. 1st 2008.

Except for trying once each week in Dec to go on a short run 1-2 miles, tried again in Jan once and in Feb once.

Each time I had pain.

I am in this "boot" thing I got from the ortho MD. I wear that whenever I can. I work 12 hour shifts, as an ER nurse and am prohibited from wearing it at work.

I am on my 4th week of wearing it. Last week I took a 2 mile walk and a few days later took a 4 mile walk without the boot.

I am still having a lot of pain. I am swimming several times a week for the last 6-8 weeks. ( I am an adrenaline junkie). I really miss running though and need some kind of hope of when I will be able to do that again. I did meet someone who does acupunture, but how do you know if they're good.

I don't want to make things worse.

Many thanks for any recomendations.



Joshua Answers:

Hi Karen.

I appreciate that you don't want to make things worse. And it sounds like you're ready to find a solution and do the work to get yourself in running shape again.

I have the solution if you are willing to do the work and be patient with yourself. Achilles Tendonitis can heal fast or slower than you'd like, depending on several factors.

So, let's get to work.

Let's start with, "You can run again, IF."

We'll come back to that.

Thoughts in no particular order:

1. I hate the boot. A doctor giving you the (literal) boot is essentially saying "I have no idea how to help you. Wear this boot and lets hope your body will heal you as good as new, or at least enough to keep you out of my office."

The boot is a great way to prolong your suffering. You've been wearing it for a month hoping it would help you improve, while under the surface of your skin the Tendonitis dynamic has been entrenching itself more and more.

It's a good thing your work doesn't let you wear the boot at work if for no other reason than limping around in that thing for a month would start messing with your knees, hips, etc.

2. My Kerri is an ER nurse. I'm familiar with how much you are on your feet. She's lucky, she gets a foot massage when she gets home. If only all nurses were so lucky. [Warning: Shameless plug for what a great guy I am.)

3. You don't want to make things worse. Great. The only way to prevent that is to reverse the Achilles Tendonitis dynamic. We'll get to that.

4. Acupuncture. Just like massage, physical therapists, doctors, etc, ya just gotta pay your money and take your chances.

I'm a big fan of acupuncture. Specifically for your Tendonitis,

I'd say it's not for you right now. Let me rephrase that. It can VERY much help your healing process. Go ahead and do it if you want, but it's not the primary tool to use specifically for the fixing of specific damage to the tendon. It is a -great- support though. It can be, anyway.

5. Swimming. GREAT!
Increasing your walking. GREAT!

6. Questions:

A. Was Oct 2008 -really- the first time you've had pain and tightness?

B. When you have tried to run lately, does it just hurt, or is it the kind of hurt that makes you stop because it's so bad. Asked another way, did you stop running out of wisdom, or necessity?

C. How old are you?

D. Please describe your nutrient intake, i.e., calories, protein, fats, etc. I don't need numbers, I just want a feel for how you take care of yourself nutritionally.

C. Out of curiosity, are you on night shift? (night shift nurses tend to be less healthy than day shift nurses, for various reasons.

D. Any other injuries presently or in the past?

E. Other than the Achilles Tendonitis, how would you describe your overall health?

F. Does it hurt when you walk? When you are at work?

G. Does it hurt when you get up in the morning and first onto your feet?

H. Does it hurt when you are resting/off your feet??

I. You say 'boot' singular so I'm guessing you just have Achilles Tendinitis on one side. True?

Answer the above questions to give me a better picture of what's going on.

I have lots to say after that.

For the moment, check out my icing suggestions on the How To Reduce Inflammation page. We'll be using that.

Also, follow this conversation about a 62 year old sprinter with Achilles Tendonitis. His and your threads are going to be similar, it will be valuable to you to track that conversation too.

It's up to you whether to wear the boot or not. My personal and professional opinion is that they are dumb (that's the personal opinion) and for an athlete like you, dangerous.

Of course, I'm not a doctor, so I neither recommend, prescribe, nor diagnose.

Having said that, I think boots for Achilles Tendonitis are dumb and dangerous.

Answer the above questions, add anything that may be relevant, and ask any other questions you may have, then we'll get you set up with a plan to fix your tendon and get your back to your adrenaline inducing activities.

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 Achilles Tendonitis, and Want To Be Running Again

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May 14, 2010
ciprofloxacin achilles injuries
by: Anonymous

Hmmm. I'm in a similar position. Five months after taking Ciprofloxacin for an unrealted issue, I'm still in pain, can't wear a closed, supportive shoe (which would includel my orthotic).

I just got the boot today, have worn it one hour and am wondering how I'll bear the heat.

What have you seen with Ciprofloxacin achillies injuries? I have yet to see a physician, but I'm pretty sure it's not ruptured or my physio and a podiatrist (once) would have sent me to emergency. The podiatrist recommened the boot, and I've tried all this long time with icing, heat, massaging topical anti-flammatory, some oral Ibuprofen but difficult for my stomach.

My diet is fish, chicken, vegs, fruit. My junk food is putting some honey or maple syrup on cottage cheese and fruit. Some coffee. I make all my food. No tearing boxes open in this kitchen. Do not smoke or drink. Ok, you asked: I'm 70 next big one. I was walking 2 miles a day prior to the antibiotic, into my heart rate in the middle of that, on dirt trails.

I'm more just telling you and your readers this than expecting you to jump to help me. But if you'd like, please do.

Ms. W.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Ms. W.

Kudos for being 70 and rocking out!

Are you sure that Ciproflxacin is the cause of the Achilles pain?

Let's hope not.

If it is, you need to first educate yourself about Fluoroquinolone cytotoxicity. Levaquin and Cipro, members of the fluoroquinolone family of antibiotics, attacks connective tissue.

See this page Side Effects of Cipro but mainly the Levaquin Tendonitis pages.

Unfortunately, Achilles Tendonitis from Cipro isn't normal Achilles Tendonitis.

Read up on those pages, then come back here.

Oct 09, 2012
Achilles Tendonosis in active 56 year old.
by: karen O

Okay I have been diagnoses with insertional tendonosis of the achilles. I have just completed 3 rounds of shockwave therapy, and have been doing the eccentric loading exercises - Im told the healing process is up to 3 months.

Im not allowed to take anti inflammatories as the inflammation is required to heal - I just want to know if I will ever be pain free, or able to run again. Im still exercising but no impact, cycling, walking, swimming, modified crossfit.

Running is my passion, Im so disheartened. I am 56, very active.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Karen.

"Im not allowed to take anti inflammatories as the inflammation is required to heal "

Well, like all things, there good inflammation and bad inflammation.

Who told you it's 'tendonosis', and why do that make that claim?

I'm more focused on the term 'heal'. Are you actually injured? Rip and tear?

Or is your tendon/insertion just irritated? Are you nutritionally insufficient and your body can't A. relax your muscles and/or B. dial down the inflammation response?

These are important questions.

I'd definitely get my Reversing Achilles Tendonitis ebook. You need a plan of attack. Sitting around and staying off it and hoping it goes away so you can get back to being active again just isn't going to work. Well, it might, but good luck with that.

I appreciate that you're very active and want to stay that way. The fact is, you now need to put some time in learning how to keep your body happy so it can continue to be active and ongoingly active. The benefits of youth are gone, and now it's time to master crafty smarts to help the body do it's thing (and to help it stop doing it's thing, as the case may be).

It's all reversible, it's just a matter of the right know how and some of the right effort.

If you're wondering whether you will ever be pain free or able to run again, the answer is totally up to you. What you have going on, is, unless you have a variety of other health issues going on, and probably even if you do, is totally reversible.

Maybe my ebook and your effort will make it happen. Worse case scenario you'll need the book and some time on The ARPwave System.

But if you want to be pain free and running again, it's totally doable. Having said that, no amount of Rest or time off will get you the results you want. That's a bummer, but that's just the way it is.

Jan 23, 2018
Is it Achilles Tendonitis ?
by: Anonymous


A little over two weeks ago (1/5/18) I was out on a six mile run and around mile 3 I started feeling some discomfort in my left Achilles tendon. I thought it wasn't anything and kept running. At mile 3.5 I stopped to stretch and tighten my shoes, hoping that would correct the discomfort.

However, by mile 4 it went from just a discomfort to a small pain. I decided to stop in order to prevent an injury. I had to walk two miles to my car and it was getting more painful. I was able to walk but had to change my walking form because of the pain. The pain while walking lasted about two days. After those two days I don't get any pain at all while walking.

I don't get any pain in the morning either. I took 10 days off from running and on 1/15/18 I did a test run. I was only able to run 2 miles before the discomfort came back. I stopped in order to prevent getting it worse. I could have kept going, but I decided it was better to just stop. I decided to rest another week. Yesterday 1/22/18 I went on a test run again. This time I was able to run 3 miles before the discomfort showed up again.

I got some pain in the afternoon but was able to walk just fine. Today I had no pain when I woke up and haven't had any. It seems the only days i get a pain is when i do test runs. I'm not sure if I even have Achilles tendinitis or something else.

The pain is in the lower part of the Achilles tendon.

Also, I am thinking that the shoes I wore that day caused me the pain. They were new shoes. I had been walking in them for two weeks daily in order to break them in. So I thought the shoes were ready for a run. Also, on that run I was going for a PR and was running faster than usual.

Not sure if this is relevant, but my mileage per week before the injury was 35 miles a week, 14 miles being my long run and 6 miles being my short runs. Not sure if this is even relevant to the injury.

My questions are

Is it even Achilles Tendinitis ?

Since I was only able to run 3 miles yesterday, should I rest one week or two weeks ?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

1. Rest doesn't help or fix anything. So it doesn't really matter if you rest one or two weeks.

2. Ultimately, it's an Achilles Tendonitis Dynamic. Structures (muscles/connective tissue) aren't working correctly, so force isn't being absorbed like it should be, that force has to go somewhere....and your tendon hurts because of that.

Aug 06, 2020
Urgent Question
by: Anonymous

I am a senior in high school where I run three seasons.

I am very smart about my training and cross training and only run about 25-30 miles a week, but started having achilles pain about 3 weeks ago.

My achilles felt like an elastic band about to pop and was "crunchy" to the touch. I stopped running and went to an orthopedic doctor who told me I had achilles tendonitis and gave me a full boot to where and said no activity other than walking is permitted until further notice.

It's been a couple weeks and I have had 0 pain at all (with or without boot) but I still am wearing the boot whenever I leave the house as instructed. I really want to start exercising and running again but the doctor won't let me. Please advise (Do I even have tendonitis?)


Joshua comments:

How'd all that end up?

Yes, for sure tendonitis, by which I mean, too much muscle and connective tissue tightness, inflammation process, and nutritional lack, so the structures can't function properly, and the tendon takes the abuse.

The problem with the boot is that it helps reduce new irritation to an already irritated dynamic, but does exactly zero for fixing the problem.

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