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Achilles tendon issue?
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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Nov 6, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.

So for a while now i've had issues with my achilles being really really tight the day after climbing. Its gotten a bit rough walking in the mornings before things stretch out. Happens a bit also after running, but not as bad.

I dont wear tight shoes, usually sized to street size. Mostly rope up, with a tad of bouldering. I do climb a good bit of slab around NC.

I cycle through anasazi verde's, miura's and katana lace ups. I've never really had this problem before with Moc's or other shoes i've worn.

Anybody else encounter this or somethign similar?

Suggestions on stretches for achilles?

Cheers
T


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By KevinCO
From Loveland, CO
Nov 6, 2011

Try this tape job:

1-Use sports tape (the same you would use for crack climbing) and use 3 pieces long enough to go from the ball of your foot to a few inches up your calf.

2-Hold you foot in a slightly toes pointed down position and firmly tape the pieces on ovelapping. Tape a circle of tape around your foot and calf at the beginning and end of the tape to keep it in place. Don't tape the keeper very tight.

3-Smooth the tape down all over so that it will stay in place (should last at least 2 days.

When you stretch, don't lean into a tree or wall since it will further strain your Achilles. Instead, sit on the ground and pull your toes back torwards you using only the opposing muscles on top of the shin aand hold. Stretch after you are already warmed up.

Try massaging Arnaflora Gel into the tendon to control the inflammation.


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By dorseyec
Nov 6, 2011

rock_fencer wrote:
I cycle through anasazi verde's, miura's and katana lace ups. I've never really had this problem before with Moc's or other shoes i've worn.


Not to point out the obvious... but I would try switching shoes and seeing if that helps.


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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Nov 6, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.

thanks for the suggestion luke.

dorseyec - no cash to buy different pair.


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By ConorD
From Monf***ingtana
Nov 6, 2011
blodgett canyon

I had an issue with my achilles tendon a while ago, only on one leg. I am pretty sure it is due to a pair of shoes i was wearing at the time, which weren't particularly tight, but snug. I think that some of the rand became weak and put a lot of pressure in one spot on the heel cup, and then that portion became very irritated. Anyway, once i got new shoes and massaged the tendon after every climb it eventually just went away. Do any of your shoes seem to focus a lot of pressure onto one specific point on your tendon?


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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Nov 6, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.

Maybe the sling shot rand pinches slightly harder at the top of the shoe about mid tendon than other portions. I'll try to figure out if its pressure from the rand on tuesday when i hit the gym and put some pressure on the feet.

I have a really high arch so it could be i need to replace my regular shoes and insoles :-/

wish i wasnt falling apart at 26


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By Copperhead
Nov 6, 2011

It could be the shoes, or it could be the climbing that is bothering it. If your achiles is creaky the next day, it is a problem you don't want to mess with, since full blown tendinitis or tendonosis is very debilitating.

If I were you, I'd have an ortho doc take a look. If that isn't possible, i'd take a few weeks off of climbing and spend it doing gentle calf stretches. Ice the thing frequently, and always after use. You might try climbing in a mountain boot or some other shoe to see if just the strain from standing on your toes aggregates it or if it is the pressure of your climbing shoes that is doing it.


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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 6, 2011
Get down from there! <br /> <br />May 2013 <br />Photo by Duc

The act of taping your foot into a plantarflexed position (what Luke suggests) should be done only for a very short term. This type of treatment in and of itself is not helpful to the long term rehab for Achilles tendonitis. i.e. Initially it helps reduce forces on the Achilles and can allow healing to start, but in the long term, maintaining a chronically shortened tendon does no good for the underlying problem.

If you have problems with tightness in the mornings, perhaps you are a good candidate for a night splint. This keeps your foot and ankle dorsiflexed all night while your sleep-- which maintains the Achilles in a lengthened position. But first you probably should attempt changing your shoes and correcting deficits in flexibility (and possibly strength).

Stretch your calf in both 'knee straight' and 'knee bent' positions. How you do it doesn't much matter but intensity and pain should be your guide in what is appropriate. These stretches target two different muscles in your calf which insert together on the Achilles tendon.

Icing the heel cord should be helpful as well. I also think short term (2-3 weeks) of NSAID therapy is often helpful. There is no evidence of such short term use affecting kidney or liver, either, afaik.

The other thing is that you haven't mentioned taking any time off. All I can say is that consistently stressing an injured tendon isn't exactly the road to recovery.


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By Kurt Swanson
From Philadelphia, PA
Nov 7, 2011
View from the Jane Spy belay station

Search the web for "eccentric calf raises", they definitely worked for me.


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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Nov 7, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.

Really appreciate the responses.

Taping: I figured it would provide some support for the tendon but eventually a position that shortens it is not beneficial.

Time Off: I'm actually taking some time off at the moment because i'm working on med school applications. I still go once a week to the gym though.

Stretching: Guess i need to do this a lot more in general. I suck at stretching period!. Found the info on doing eccentric calf raises last night and while i dont feel anything being stretched per se, the legs feel good afterwards. Had no problem walking this morning.

ill update in a week or two


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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Nov 9, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.

update:

Have been doing eccentric calf raises and bent knee stretches 3x a day in sets 3x10.

Taped like luke suggested for climbing to provide some support while climbing.

This morning no real issues with tightness. Still have some tenderness around the bottom of the tendon when prodded but that could just be bruising from heel hooking.

Also threw out the old sneaks and insoles for some fresh kicks and a newer insole.


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By APBT1976
Nov 10, 2011
Black Dike 12/25/11

If this these are your first signs of this problem i would chill out now!!!! Don't try and do the see what you can get away with and hope for the best route.

Although i am also a runneer i had my first bought of Achilles/planters problem the end of last ice season. I have been fighting with both ever since. This is coming from a former pro cyclist that never had a single injury his whole life.

I have done everything from RICE for weeks and months at a time to low low volume with only 10% increases. Cross training, "swimming/cycling" to all but giving up and throwing all caution to the wind and just doing what i want within reason.

At the moment i just got back from a 8 mile run at 7min pace nothing special but it sure feels like it after months and months of 3 mile jogs. I did however spend 20 minutes in a full ice bath and another 15 soaking in hot water up to my knees. Even now at only 20-25 miles a week running my feet/heels are always kinda sore and keep me from exercising how i want. Mostly it is outa fear of blowing something up but the constant soreness is really a pain in the as to be quite honest. It doesn't really hurt but it is always kinda there warning you dont push it kid!!

For me i have found that stretching/foam rolling head to toe a solid 30 minutes a day is imperative. Beyond that i also do all kinds of weird PT exercises to strengthen my feet and the excentric calf raises every other day in a rotation. To be honest 5 minutes in ice 5 minutes in water for 30 minutes 2-3 times a day is what i get the most out of.

I have done massage, acupuncture, chiropractor, cranial sacral one at a time and all grouped together. All of it has helped and gotten me back on my feet again at one point in time or another over the last year.

My point mostly is take this serious and don't spend months trying to climb even though something does not feel right. GO see a profesional and if they say rest then rest. if after rest it still hurts rest some more and just do PT till it is all better. Best of luck as injuries suck!!!


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By Ben Sachs
Nov 10, 2011

I don't have a ton of good info here but my girlfriend had serious achilles issues. She had been climbing for a while but when she started doing more cracks and slabs it would hurt. She took a couple weeks off, got some stiffer/looser shoes for that style of climbing, and did some simple PT exercises (probably the stuff already mentioned) and she is back at it.


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By Scott Bower
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 10, 2011

Don't overdo it, even stretching too forcefully can set you back. It took me more than 8 months of minimal activity and constant icing, stretching, and general babying before I got over my problems, which I aggrevated and reenforced early on. It can take so long to heal, that you really want to nip it in the bud. Sounds like you are sort of dancing around the R in RICE. You may get lucky, but you may regret it too if it becomes a long term issue.

I found this device helpful for stretching:

bounce09.kattare.com/z/prostretch

I've been doing maintainence stretching on it most days for over 3 years now with no reoccurance of Achiles pain. Best of luck.


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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Nov 10, 2011
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.

Scott Bower wrote:
Don't overdo it, even stretching too forcefully can set you back. It took me more than 8 months of minimal activity and constant icing, stretching, and general babying before I got over my problems, which I aggrevated and reenforced early on. It can take so long to heal, that you really want to nip it in the bud. Sounds like you are sort of dancing around the R in RICE. You may get lucky, but you may regret it too if it becomes a long term issue. I found this device helpful for stretching: bounce09.kattare.com/z/prostretch I've been doing maintainence stretching on it most days for over 3 years now with no reoccurance of Achiles pain. Best of luck.



I guess it does seem that way, but i haven't run in over a month and stopped biking too. And i havent climbed for a full day in over three weeks. I'll go crazy if i peal back any more activities. Winter's coming at least and i dont ski or ice climb. I'm watching it closely. I have enough recurring issues with knees, wrist, and shoulders, don't need to add to the list.

Cheers
T


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Nov 10, 2011
Axes glistening in the sun

Glad I saw this! I tore my achilles last year and got cleared to run back at the end of May. For some reason Doc didn't want me climbing till end of summer. Been working the hell out of my calf to get back the strength & endurance for climbing. Regular calf raises with a pack haven't really seemed to do much even though I am doing about 80 reps.

Going to try the eccentric calf raises. Need to get ready for some ice this winter as I missed a whole winter of skiing & climbing plus most of the summer!


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By APBT1976
Nov 10, 2011
Black Dike 12/25/11

I hate these issues. I also use a Pro Stretch or whatever the name of that blue thing is. It hit that every time i walk by it and at least right after i get outa bed and after dinner as part of my stretching routine.

Sounds like you are a need your exercise type as i am. I am telling you if this is only weeks old "STOP NOW" and get it healed once and for all. I am doing ok 9 months later but most days for at least part of the day my heals ache like hell and i often have to skip days running cycling climbing that i really don't want to as i know if i don't i will end up layed up for weeks doing Zero.

I am back to like 20-25 Miles running a week and one 60-80 mile bike ride but that took me 9 fucking months and lots of heart ache. And still i know i am playing with fire.

Ice season is coming and thats what i live for. I am so scared my first day out i am gonna blow my shit up and find out i am not ice climbing this season or maybe ever again for that matter.

For real lay off even if you will loose your mind. When you cant climb ever again you will REALLY loose your dam mind!!! Just Two Cents for whatever that is worth?


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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Nov 10, 2011
Colonel Mustard

Good luck on your achilles! I was diagnosed with achilles tendinosis years ago and I've found - having suffered several different injuries, including my achilles and ring finger - that as many "experts" you talk to concerning tendon injuries is probably the number of treatment opinions you'll get. Mine was incurred during marathon training and, fortunately, never really affected my climbing - even slab climbing. I'd suggest to get as much advice as you can, try out what makes sense, and maybe something will work for you. Don't underestimate rest, but you've also got to start exercising the area or healing doesn't seem to happen in my experience.

Fortunately, I'm back trail running now, although I'll probably never train for a marathon again. Meh. Running only leads to triathlons and other type A, number chaser bullshit anyway ;).


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By APBT1976
Nov 10, 2011
Black Dike 12/25/11

Old Custer wrote:
Good luck on your achilles! I was diagnosed with achilles tendinosis years ago and I've found - having suffered several different injuries, including my achilles and ring finger - that as many "experts" you talk to concerning tendon injuries is probably the number of treatment opinions you'll get. Mine was incurred during marathon training and, fortunately, never really affected my climbing - even slab climbing. I'd suggest to get as much advice as you can, try out what makes sense, and maybe something will work for you. Don't underestimate rest, but you've also got to start exercising the area or healing doesn't seem to happen in my experience. Fortunately, I'm back trail running now, although I'll probably never train for a marathon again. Meh. Running only leads to triathlons and other type A, number chaser bullshit anyway ;).


haha lol.... for real i did and loud!!!

Type a number chasing "story of my fucking life" I raced bicycles pro for a few years. I burnt out bad and took 3 years off all exercise. I did a type A something else not so productive for a few years ;)

Anyway i got back on the horse and started climbing a couple years ago and one thing led to another and i started running. Running injuries led me back to a bike and into a pond swimming. I own a freaking TT bike again and train with a Garmin. Fucking Christ how does this happen to me over and over again. I now need a beater winter bike with full fenders as i live in Boston.

I do hate competition and think it is kinda lame really. I and am doing my very best to steer well clear of any type of racing of any sort. I just like to exercise for hours on end and be outside all alone. Waaaaay better than racing! Solo marathon trail runs are where it is at..


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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Nov 10, 2011
Colonel Mustard

APBT1976 wrote:
haha lol.... for real i did and loud!!! Type a number chasing "story of my fucking life" I raced bicycles pro for a few years. I burnt out bad and took 3 years off all exercise. I did a type A something else not so productive for a few years ;) Anyway i got back on the horse and started climbing a couple years ago and one thing led to another and i started running. Running injuries led me back to a bike and into a pond swimming. I own a freaking TT bike again and train with a Garmin. Fucking Christ how does this happen to me over and over again. I now need a beater winter bike with full fenders as i live in Boston. I do hate competition and think it is kinda lame really. I and am doing my very best to steer well clear of any type of racing of any sort. I just like to exercise for hours on end and be outside all alone. Waaaaay better than racing! Solo marathon trail runs are where it is at..


Nice story! I figured I'd strike a chord, I've met quite a few of you tri types ;). Injuries are the pay back for the sweet endorphin high, I guess.


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