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Old 08-04-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 433
Unhappy Achilles Tendonitis

I have missed weeks of training due to pain. I have had a number of Aikido injuries, but these at least usually involve a story. This time, I just noticed some aching in my right heel, then woke up one morning unable to bear any weight. I saw a sports medicine specialist, got given a boot and an naproxen. I was told this was Achilles tendonitis, take three days off work and that I would heal quickly. I saw PT once, got feeling much better. Got back on the mat for weapons practice after three weeks. I found limping in the boot was messing up my back, knee and hip.

Came home last night from work with an aching right heel, iced it up and took it say. Woke up from the pain last night at 2am, and I am back on naproxen and in a boot. I'm missing training, and also missing work (I love both). It's been two months since the initial pain.

I had someone tell me they took six months to recover from tendonitis? I really, really hope not. I understand this can lead to a tendon rupture too which would mean surgery.

Does anyone out there have any advice or a similar experience?
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:43 AM   #2
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,199
Re: Achilles Tendonitis

Not achilles, but plenty of tendinitis experience. It takes time, yes. Six months is probably pretty conservative for a well-aggravated case of it. Two things to consider:

1)The average orthopedic patient is stressing their body in different ways than you are, and advice that might work for them will not work for you. In discussing things with your doctor or a PT, be explicit in describing your activities to get the best advice.
2)"Six months" means nothing. The time to recovery depends on your body and on how you manage your recovery. Interventions like a protective boot and anti-inflammatory have their place, but they don't fix the problem so much as give your body an opportunity to heal IF you use the opportunity intelligently. This means eliminating whatever created the problem in the first place: if you don't, you'll just continue to aggravate the injury.

Good luck with it -- although I don't know why I'm saying that, it's really less a matter of luck and more a matter of figuring out what the right thing is and then doing it.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
Re: Achilles Tendonitis

I would say that if the pain is in the heel, the problem may involve both the plantar fascia AND Achilles tendon (tightness in one often part and parcel of tightness in the other). You may want to ask your doc or PT about this. If so, icing the bottom of the foot is also a good idea. If the boot is very uncomfortable, ask if you might be better off on crutches at least part of the day.
Tendons CAN take many months to heal. There are lots of us who have had to learn to deal with this break from training, sometimes repeatedly. Breathe and remind yourself: for now, this IS the training. Go in once a week or twice a week to do "eye waza" and see if there is something you can do to benefit yourself and/or the dojo: can you do seated weapons or ki exercises? can you do a photo or video documentary for social media for the dojo? is there a survey or office project to do?
Best of luck - be persistent in seeking information and answers on your injury, but don't try to shortcut the healing process!

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:50 AM   #4
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 433
Re: Achilles Tendonitis

Thanks for all the advice and insight. And, some good tips on training for the next several months.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:02 PM   #5
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 942
Re: Achilles Tendonitis

I a just getting over a bout of that myself. It started in March when I injured my right knee doing a hanmi handachi technique that I should not have been doing. Compensating for the knee injury aggravated my left achilles. I continued to train and do pretty much all of my normal activities, just staying aware of what movements were okay and which ones I needed to skip or be careful of. I also had it wrapped for support for several weeks. I also did some very very easy stretching and massage on it frequently. I just noticed this week that the tendon is not very sore anymore and that the big lump above my heel is gone.

Anyway yes it takes a long time to heal. But it shouldn't hold you back too much as long as you are sensible and don't push past what your body tells you is safe.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:45 PM   #6
Walter Martindale
Location: Edmonton, AB
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 775
Re: Achilles Tendonitis

John... I'm not a doctor - coach, yes, doctor no. I see lots of people develop tendon "issues." Typical athletes will "play through the pain" until it's too late. I ask the people I coach to let me know right away if anything is "hot" (inflamed) after practice - the first time it's irritated. blisters on the hands I don't worry too much about because that's a springtime thing, and goes away as the hands toughen up, but irritated tendons in the wrist (often it's carpal tunnel), or compartment syndrome things (muscle growing faster than the perimyceum (sp?) or swollen muscle in a non-stretchy sheath) get immediate "sorry, you're off until you've had a week pain free and then it's half-training until we know it's better - and see a doctor and a physio ASAP, and I'm going to pay a lot more attention to your technique to see if it's something coach-able".....

Take Time Off - and as a previous response has suggested, go to the dojo and observe training with the "visioning yourself doing the movements" mindset...
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