Lots of Physical Therapy In My Future

Strasburg sock

How do you fix chronic Achilles tendon pain? By wearing the Strasburg sock while you sleep. Ugh!

First the good news – no bone spur. Which means no surgery in my future.


The bad? According to my physical therapist, my calf muscle is “one big knotted ball.” Which means it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months to fix…depending on how I respond to therapy.

Limited Mobility
I learned the calf is made up of 2 muscles, the gastrocnemius (upper calf) and the soleus (lower calf). My issue is the gastrocnemius is overly tight and, as a result of that tightness, shortened.

The gastrocnemius is so tight that I’ve lost a lot of mobility in my left foot. My therapist had me sit on a table with my legs straight out and tested how far my foot moved as I stretched my toes towards my body. Normal mobility is between 12-20 degrees.

My right foot is 15 degrees. The left? Four degrees. Read More

Achilles Tendon Fights Back!

Achilles Tendon

After a week of awesomeness in the gym, my Achilles heel decided it’s had enough. But I’m not waving the white flag just yet when it comes to the Gold’s Gym Challenge.

This week is looking promising, no?

I started in earnest on my Gold’s Gym Challenge. My trainer upped the intensity of my sessions (i.e., heavier weights). I’ve enrolled in boot camp and yoga classes, each 3 times a week. And my idea of cooling down after each session is about 30-40 minutes on the elliptical (it’s just too cold to walk outside).

But Sunday is rest day…thank god!

Physical Therapy In My Immediate Future
I’ve hit the wall when it comes to my Achilles tendon.

I’ll have 4-5 really great days. No pain. Oh sure my ankle is very stiff mornings, but it loosens up with some stretching.

Yet one day a week I’m now in intense pain. All day. Eventually my ankle loosens up and the pain isn’t as intense. But that’s not good enough.

I’m now worried surgery is a possibility. Crap!

So this morning I’m putting in a call to the big dogs. My doctor and a physical therapist – someone with an emphasis on sports injuries.

Last night I noticed a bump behind my left ankle…and it hurt…bad.  My right ankle was pretty smooth. I get that swelling happens. But this is different. So there is a possibility of bone spurs.

There are just too many things I want to do. From running a Tough Mudder to ice skating, all require a healthy Achilles tendon.

Pain relief is my first goal. But I also want to make sure I’ve got good movement. I certainly don’t want any unnecessary strain on my Achilles.

Rethinking Gold’s Gym Challenge
It goes without saying that boot camp is out for now. So is walking. My trainer has work arounds when it comes to strength training that don’t aggravate my ankle.   As for yoga, it seems like most poses require ankle power.  I’ll probably have to talk with my instructor to see if there are alternative stretches I can do in class.

That means cycling classes are in my very near future. So tonight I’m digging out the cycling pants and shoes.

4 Weeks Until I Run My First 5K

My problem Achilles tendon is rearing it's ugly head again. This morning the right side of my ankle is swollen and can't bear any weight. Time for a little R&R to avoid a possible tear.

I run my first 5K in 4 weeks. Unfortunately, my problem Achilles tendon is slowing down my 5K training. It’s feeling better lately and tomorrow I see just how far I can run without stopping.

Time is flying by. I looked at the calendar today and realized I only have 4 weeks left to train for my upcoming 5k. Holy cow! I’m starting to sweat it because I haven’t been consistent in my training.

For the last two months I’ve experienced a flare up with my Achilles’ tendon. It hurts the most in the mornings. After an hour of stretching and light walking I’m much more mobile. But I do have days where no matter the amount of stretching the blasted tendon hurts all day.

About a month ago it started hurting right after my runs. So I decided to go light on the running, just to play it safe. The last thing I want to do is rupture my Achilles. Read More

Sidelined By Achilles Tendon Pull

My problem Achilles tendon is rearing it's ugly head again. This morning the right side of my ankle is swollen and can't bear any weight. Time for a little R&R to avoid a possible tear.

My problem Achilles tendon is rearing its ugly head again. This morning the right side of my ankle is swollen and can’t bear any weight. Time for a little R&R to avoid a possible tear.

Awe, crap! It’s day one of my 12-Week Thigh Challenge and I wake up to a very painfully swollen Achilles tendon. Yep, the same Achilles tendon I pulled over a year ago. At least this time around it’s just the right side that’s swollen and not the whole dang ankle.

Sigh…I’ve got my foot elevated, iced and I just popped a couple of ibuprofen. My cycle class starts at noon, but something tells me I’m not going to make it today. Since I need to press down on my heel in class for certain moves, I think it’s best to hang up my cleats today. My goal for the next 24 hours is to keep the weight off of my left ankle. That 24 hours may stretch into a couple of days if the pain persists.

I think the sprints I did yesterday caused the inflammation. My trainer ran me through a metabolic session — tire push, step-ups, pull ups, rope slam, dead lifts and sprints with about 10 second rest in between each exercise.

Ah, those sprints.  I did 3 reps of sprints for 30 seconds each. I ran as fast as I could and actually got faster with each rep.  I felt exhausted after my workout but no pain. It wasn’t until the evening my ankle started swelling.

So today becomes a forced rest day. Thankfully the iPad is charged and at the ready while I take a load off my feet.