My Achilles Has a History– Am I Doing the Right Thing?

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by violamarie, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. violamarie

    violamarie
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    Thanks TJ. I'm starting to

    Thanks TJ. I'm starting to think that my AT is just permanently compromised. It's not inflamed or hurting with activity. It just is a little sore when pressed in certain way sor when I foam roll it. It's just not the same and I don't know if it will ever regain the strength of the other side. I need to figure out how much risk I'm willing to take with it and the best way to manage it, given its limitations. It may be time for me to accept that it's just not ever going to get to 100%. As far as BFR, I like it in theory. I really think it is good and natural. I think if I had started this before my AT was ever damaged, I could have avoided a lot of trouble. But hindsight is 20/20. And now that things are what they are, I don't know if BFR is an option for me. Again, it comes back to me deciding how much risk I'm willing to take with it.

    I will probably get some prolo shots for it soon. I'm already getting it in my knee, so might as well hit up the AT. In the meantime, I do not stretch it. I haven't in a long time. I have started doing the heel drops again, but only to the ground and not off a step (don't want to overstretch).
     
  2. Barefoot TJ

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    I wouldn't even do the heel

    I wouldn't even do the heel drops if I were you. Your calves and connective tissue (AT, PF) are already tight enough as it is. The more you stretch it, the longer it will take for those tissues to heal, since stretching is part of the tearing down process and resting is part of the healing process. I think as long as you keep stretching it, you're just delaying its healing and possibly permanently damaging it.

    If you ever do try to run barefoot, you're going to have to take it in very, very, very, very small increments (in compared to others who are starting out and don't have the issue you do); I'm talking yards instead of 1/4 miles. You don't want to stretch out the connective tissues to fast or too hard when beginning BFR, and for you, doing so could be damaging.

    Good luck, Marie. Keep us up-to-date with how you're doing.
     
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  3. violamarie

    violamarie
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    See that's another area where

    See that's another area where the info is conflicted. You hear "don't stretch, rest it" on the one hand. Then on the other you hear that rest alone will never clear up tendinosis. Acute tendonitis, yes. But chronic tendinosis...no. The heel drops are supposed to help the damaged tendon fibers realign. I don't know...

    With the running, part of the issue is my prolo doc is wanting me to test out running so we can see how my knee is doing. We need some feedback. But if I run 1/10 of a mile (because I'm trying to go BF), that's not giving me much to go on.
     
  4. NickW

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    I honestly think it all

    I honestly think it all depends on the doc that you see. I do not have a bf friendly podiatrist and according to him I should not be able to walk without my $450 custom orthotics he made me purchase and I should never go barefoot because of the supposed degeneritive arthritis in my right foot. Funny, but bf actually makes me feel much better.

    Does your Dr that wants you to run know about your problem with your at/pf? It seems weird that knowing it is bothering you that they would want you to intentionally try to aggravate it. I am with TJ on the no stretching thing at all as well. For me that seems to be the only thing that has let my calf heel. I am no Dr, but I think you have to ultimately listen to your body and what it tells you. Good luck!
     
  5. violamarie

    violamarie
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    I read the no stretch article

    I read the no stretch article and it pretty much confirmed what I aready think about stretching. What about the foam roller? Is that a safe option for the calf? I was also thinking about a trigger point set.

    My doc looked at my AT via ultrasound about 6 weeks ago or so. He said it looks normal. But he is going to look at it again at our next visit in a couple weeks. He is not BF "unfriendly" but not all gung-ho for it either. The only reason he wants me to run is so we can see where we're at with the knee.
     
  6. Barefoot TJ

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    How long and how often have

    How long and how often have you been trying to heal your AT with the heel drops though? It doesn't seem to be working. If anything, it seems to be delaying your healing or making it worse. Just something to think about and consider. Try not stetching to see if you start healing. At this point, what have you got to lose?

    I would ask your prolo doc to help you first resolve your AT problem, so you can run without injuring yourself, so he can test/determine the scope of your knee injury. I would question any doc who would want me to injure myself worse just so he can get answers about something else.
     
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  7. violamarie

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    In his defense...when I

    In his defense...when I started seeing him in July, I told him I was healed. Because I was or am or who knows. He did look at the AT and that's when he proclaimed it to be normal.

    I only just now started to notice my AT again after my first two BF runs. Like I said it could just be that I was paying attention to it again and that made me notice tweaks I was overlooking before. It seems like the more I think about it, the more I feel it.

    The AT injury history is long. I've done heel drops off & on throughout the time. I did them all last fall & winter while seeing the PT and getting ASTYM. Then I stopped everything because I was having a breakdown over the whole thing. My achilles felt better than ever this spring & summer. But keep in mind...no running. So I can't say if it was the no running or no heel drops or the ASTYM or what.

    At some point I have to give it a shot and see how the AT responds, you know? I just wish someone could tell me what I should expect. You know, maybe a bit of soreness when I foam roll it is to be expected, maybe that's OK. Or maybe I should be feeling nothing no matter what.
     
  8. Barefoot TJ

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    Dr. G. says foam rolling,

    Dr. G. says foam rolling, massaging, and trigger-point therapy is good for calves, therefore good for the AT and PF. I don't think you want to roll your AT though. Hopefully, Doc can chime in here. I think what you want to do with the foam roller, wooden rolling pin, or PVC pipe, etc., is roll out your calves. Your calves are connected to your AT, so by rolling out the calves, you will be affecting the AT, realigning the tissues, so they can begin to heal. The first few times you roll out your calves, it's going to hurt like hell, but in a good way. Everyone says how bad it hurts, but they always return to roll again another day. ;-) When you come upon an area (a point) where there seems to be extra soreness, you concentrate on rolling that area out even more. If you can have someone roll for you, that's better; if not, then lay the roller down on the floor and hover your calf over it and roll your leg over it. Here are some videos on how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=foam+roller+exercises&aq=1&oq=foam+roll If anyone has any specific ones they know are good, please say so.
     
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