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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    !@#$@#^$ Achilles tendon(s)

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    They'd been doing so well....

    Between foot strengthening and stretching, rolling out my calves and the soles of my feet, lowering my seat height 3 mm, etc., my Achilles were doing really, really well.

    Then we went for a long motorcycle ride on Tuesday and ever since then I've hardly been able to walk. ... five weeks to go until my marathon.

    I just don't know what to do.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,999
    I can empathize. A couple years ago, I had chronic tendonitis in my right leg. Ended up going to a podiatrist, & getting prescriptions for an strength anti-inflammatory and PT sessions. The medication really did the trick in terms of relieving my discomfort ... apparently, achilles injuries can take a long time to heal.

    Maybe Knott will weigh in w/some suggestions? In the meantime, best wishes to you, Oak.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    777
    This week's RoadBikeRider e-newsletter just happened to have an article on this very problem:

    www.roadbikerider.com

    Achilles Tendon Pain

    What's the matter? Some day you may feel like Australian endurance cyclist Gerry Tatrai. He suffered mightily in one Race Across America. As a former winner of the event, he knew what to expect from the distance, heat and discomfort of up to 22 hours per day in the saddle. But what he didn't expect almost knocked him out of the race -- severe Achilles tendon pain.

    Many people assume that because cycling is a low-impact activity, they're immune from the sort of injuries we associate with explosive sports like basketball. And it's true that you aren't likely to rupture a tendon while riding.

    But Achilles problems on the bike aren't due to one sudden wrench. As Tatrai learned, they're caused by repetitive movement. And if the saddle is a little low or you push hard on hills with a slow, grinding cadence, small errors add up. Pretty soon you're hurting as badly as if you'd tried to dunk from the foul line.

    What should you do if this injury strikes?

    Here's Help:

    When an Achilles tendon is complaining, go through this checklist:

    Is your saddle high enough? Sometimes the body compensates for an excessively low saddle by bending too much at the ankle at the top of the stroke, which in turn puts strain on the Achilles.

    Are you pulling through excessively at the bottom of the stroke? It's good to work on this skill occasionally but in normal riding it shouldn't be a conscious act. Overemphasis could cause Achilles stress.

    Are you climbing a lot? Riding short-and-steep hills can bring on a case of Achilles tendinitis if you stay seated and push hard. Stand more or gear down so you can pedal against a lighter resistance.

    Are you recovering sufficiently? If you're sure that your position is right, try easing off the climbing. If that doesn't work, take some time off the bike. Tatrai taped his ankle so it was held rigid as he pedaled, but he was trying to complete RAAM and wasn't about to stop unless he simply couldn't ride anymore.

    It's unwise for the rest of us to be so determined. Achilles problems can become chronic. It's better to rest, take ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling, apply ice for 15 minutes 4 times a day, and then ease back into riding after the pain has abated.



    Also, this blog has had some recent talk about it as well -- this entry seems to address a lot about how to treat it:

    http://runawayfastjaymee.blogspot.co...ze-of-one.html

    A sure hope you heal quickly. Well wishes to you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    I hope you get to feeling better soon! I was in a walking boot for about 5 weeks last fall after taking an antibiotic that produced micro-tears in one of my Achilles tendons (this is a known side-effect - I am one of those fortunate people who get the weird side-effects). I know what it feels like...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,886
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    I hope you get to feeling better soon! I was in a walking boot for about 5 weeks last fall after taking an antibiotic that produced micro-tears in one of my Achilles tendons (this is a known side-effect - I am one of those fortunate people who get the weird side-effects). I know what it feels like...
    Catrin, it wasn't Cipro, was it? I suffered the same thing after taking Cipro while I was on RAGBRAI two years ago. I rode the entire week and had to miss the last day because I could hardly walk much less ride. It still bothers me when I run.

    Oak, I'm so sorry this has happened. You have worked so hard. I hope it heals up in time for the marathon. Hang in there.
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

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    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    Thanks Michele.

    It's specifically motorcycling that did it, it's not a new occurrence but I sure wasn't expecting it to bite me this hard this time, and I don't know what it is about the fit of my motos (both of them) that does it.

    Lowering my seat height on the bici helped a LOT, because it's helped me reduce plantar flexion - so I'm surprised to read your post recommending raising it. It's been step by step, little by little, lowering my saddle and learning to stop plantar flexing so as to protect both my calves and my knees.

    Been icing on and off most of the day - yeah, should've started earlier, but didn't think it was going to turn into this. Traumeel, near-infrared therapy, taking in your good wishes and radiating gratitude all around, keeping my fingers crossed.....
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    (((Oak)))

    I've only been on a moto once, but it was a 4 hour ride in the middle of the night in March in New England. Long story (I'll just add I thought I was going to die ). So, this is a total newbie question, but could it be your boots?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Chick View Post
    Catrin, it wasn't Cipro, was it? I suffered the same thing after taking Cipro while I was on RAGBRAI two years ago. I rode the entire week and had to miss the last day because I could hardly walk much less ride. It still bothers me when I run.
    No, it was Levaquin, which is the same class of drugs as Cipro. Baaaad stuff! It still twinges from time to time but I pretty much ignore it - resting it doesn't seem to have any effect so I pretty much ignore it if it is only occasional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    Ouch Catrin. Hope they heal completely before too much longer.

    Red, I've thought about that, but the trouble is that if I go to a MX or roadracing style boot - the kind that doesn't let you bend your ankles - I'd need to lower the bike a LOT to be able to get a toe on the ground at a stop. I don't want to lose that much ground clearance if I don't have to (plus I don't really have a shop I trust to set up the suspension properly on a lowered bike). But I've got my eye on a little CRF230M for a play bike. If I get one, and I still have trouble in that very different riding position when I wear my street boots, then it's low and light enough that I could experiment with rigid boots.

    At any rate, I'm MUCH better today. It was four days of WAY worse and WAY longer than I'd ever experienced before (literally I could hardly walk, even most of yesterday), but I guess sometimes there's another RICE I need to treat my injuries with: Relax, Inhale, Chill, Exhale. I did Yoga this morning but I'm going to take the rest of the day off just to be safe. Tomorrow's a cycling day which shouldn't bother my ankles now. Monday will try to run again.

    Thanks again for all your healing wishes, I have no doubt that's part of why I'm feeling so much better.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,886
    Glad to hear it, Oak. Hope your healing continues and you are back to your training soon!
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

    Luna Eclipse/Selle Italia Lady
    Surly Pacer/Terry Butterfly
    Quintana Roo Cd01/Koobi Stratus
    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
    Jamis Coda Femme

 

 

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