This is part 1 of a multi part series on Achilles tendon injuries. Lyle McDonald would understand the multi-part format, heh heh.
I will look into all the aspects of the injury cycle, the how’s and why’s, pros and cons of each phase.
Those who know me know I’ve been suffering from Achilles tendonitis for years now. I’ve tried them all except one last solution which I am currently experimenting with (you’ll see them in upcoming YouTube videos).
But first, let’s look at a typical training and injury cycle:
- You are healthy and start training
- You body is not balanced and possibly overcompensate other parts if the body
- You are tired or doing too much volume (i.e. too much, too fast , too soon syndrome)
- You get injured. This is bad.
- You do rehab to stop the pain and swelling. You ice, take drugs (NSAIDs), stretch, do physio, low level laser and all that jazz
- You decrease your training (or simply do nothing, for days, weeks, months?)
- You get better and start training again
Do you see a pattern here?
I see a vicious cycle, so unless you attack the ROOT CAUSE of the problem, you will always go in circles.
To make a silly analogy:
You see a puddle of water on the kitchen floor. You can mop up the floor from the leak, or fix the pipes that causes the leak. (or do both)
Once you get better, if you continuously do the same thing (i.e. mopping up the floor), it will re-appear again. Then the vicious cycle starts all over again.
Thus you have to find and address the root cause of the problem.
If you hurt your Achilles, 2 things can happen. The most common Achilles tendon injuries are (1) Achilles tendinosis or Achilles tendinopathy (formerly called Achilles tendonitis) and (2) Achilles tendon rupture.
Achilles tendon ruptures or tears, can be full ruptures or partial ruptures, and that is very bad news. Unless you have the multi-million dollar medical support staff like Donovan Bailey, I doubt a full recovery.
If you suffer from Achilles tendinosis or tendonitis, how severe is it? Where are you at?
I’ll break it down to 4 stages.
The 4 Stages
No pain during exercise, but there is some discomfort or stiffness in the morning getting out of bed in the morning.
Pain or discomfort during exercise or running, but performance is not affected. The stiffness when first getting out of bed continues to disappear shortly afterward. You may feeling stiff before workout, but as you warm up, the pain goes away. Pinching the Achilles tendon with the forefinger and thumb is slightly painful, but tolerable.
Pain during exercise or running that is detrimental to performance. Doing tempo on the grass still hurts your Achilles, so instead you modify a heel-toe running style like a distance runner.
Hurts way too much to walk or run. Pinching the Achilles tendon with the forefinger and thumb is totally excruciating. Everywhere you go, you hobble.
To be continued…