Taking care of your body

Here are some helpful information for taking care of yourself during the recovery process (and beyond). They may be obvious, but it helps me to be reminded of it.

  • A healthy diet
  • Cut out things that are bad for you (Luckily I never smoked, and I don’t drink heavily.)
  • Positive Thinking!
  • Surround yourself with people who care about you.
  • Get a good amount of sleep every day.
  • Lower your stress levels.
  • With your doctor’s consent, start exercising. Upper-body workouts especially.
  • Get to your ideal body weight (Yes, harder said than done)
  • Dietary supplements (multi vitamins, chondroitin ?, glucosamine ?)

25 Responses to “Taking care of your body”

  1. I am 7 months post op and I still experience swelling and some discomfort. Any suggestions to help with this

  2. kathy devore - I’ve heard that compression socks help. There’s been some discussion about compression socks here. I haven’t used them though.

    http://achillesblog.com/things-you-might-need/to-help-you-get-around/

    Keep us posted on your recovery.

  3. Hi guys,

    wondering if anyone can help, ruptured my achilles just under 2 weeks back. Prior to the injury, played football 1-2 a week and gym 3-4 times a week. Without which Im very concious of what Im eating. Im currently substituting one meal a day for a plate of fruit!

    Any useful advices/links/sources of information to minimising weight gain whilst sitting on my arse whilst rehibillitating? EG eating the right food

    Many thanks

  4. Good question - I wish I would have asked it. My injury was June 11. Since then I am up 15 pounds. I’ve been working out too, but not at nearly the same intensity. “Comfort food” has taken it’s toll on me!

  5. Mustan - Best advice I can give is portion control and avoid the junk food. I would also recommend counting calories during the day to see how much you consume. There are a lot of online tools that can help with calorie counting. Reduce your caloric intake as necessary to account for your reduced activity level.

  6. I am 6 days “in” and significant weight gain is one of my major concerns.
    Any updates or recommendations appreciated.
    Thanx ‘NWB Golden Boy’

  7. I actually lost 20 pounds! Because for so long I couldn’t get up and get that bowl of ice cream, I couldn’t hit the drive-through to get a Frappucino and I couldn’t run to the store. Also I would think about eating things that I perceived (rightly or wrongly) would help me heal, so I ate more protein, more fruits and veg than normal. And also I think I was a little depressed for a while. So weight gain might not be the issue you think it is going to be. Plus once you are on crutches but still non weight bearing you are really getting a workout!

  8. Weight gain is a serious threat… Ask family to keep junk food out of sight or at least out of reach: top shelf in the kitchen cabinet is a sure spot: you won’t go up there for a few weeks!

  9. I too was afraid of weight gain but I think I lost a few pounds. I agree with Mary because I can’t drive I am not able to go thru the drive thru. For the first month I was also in a lot of pain and so tired that I probably only ate one meal a day because I could not bother because I was so tired ( not that I am promoting to eat one meal a day) just being honest.

  10. It’s very much important to take care of our body. For this we should do exercise and yoga on a daily basis to keep us fit and fine. As we all know that a healthy body makes a wealth full person.
    Physical Therapy Supplies

  11. Hi, what about drinking clean water and breathing clean air?
    These are also important components of taking care about our bodies.

  12. Hey Im still recovering from my second achilles repair and my nutritionist told me about a supplement called ARC made by mendrx, and it has helped me a lot especially right after surgery. the site is http://www.mendrx.com.

  13. First week in and I am worried about weight gain too. Keeping junk food away and having flask of green tea at my side helping. Understand where you’re coming from though, especially when used to doing lots.

  14. Does anyone have suggestions on exercises/stretches I can do for my good leg to keep it from being injured while I recoup? I am sure this is partially mental, but it seems like every step I take while pushing myself on the scooter I notice my Achilles working. My ATR was early enough that when I see people running up stairs or up a hill that I involuntarily cringe.

    Like many of you I am sure you never want to go through this injury again. I will happily never play sports again, but there are some activities I wont be able to avoid. Such as playing with my kids and cutting the grass(I have about a quarter of an acre of straight hills that require push mowing. Since my doctor told me I am more likely to tear my other Achilles verse someone else tearing one I want to be as pro-active as possible to stay healthy. Thanks!

  15. ka744 - I don’t know why you would stop playing sports? Shit happens! Don’t let that limit what you want to do in your life - life is too short! And does your doctor say why you are more likely to tear your other achilles? Are they tight or ??? My surgery was somewhat voluntary (surgery for haglunds deformity which cuts the achilles) but when my condition was first diagnosed I was told that my achilles were REALLY tight and I needed to do things to stretch them regularly or I might have an ATR. So here is a quick rundown of some of the PT I did to help keep my achilles more flexible and stretched:

    normal wall push with back leg leaning forward as much as possible
    stand on one foot, do squats
    stand on one foot, squat down, move other foot to front, side, back
    put both hands on a doorway, stand on one leg, lean forward, swing other leg and body to left/right/left/right
    stand with heel resting on a couch arm or something that holds your leg at about 90 degrees, flex knee a bit on the leg you’re standing on and lean forward
    stand on a step, drop heel down/up/down/up off the edge

    I’m sure if you google PT exercises for achilles you’ll find lots more!

    Check out agnesatr’s achilles blog - she has pictures/videos for a lot of the PT she went through and you can apply that to your good leg as well.

  16. cserpent - Thank you for the exercises! I plan to ask my doctor at my 2 week follow-up to see what exercises he suggests as well. As for the other tendon he mentioned it is just a proven statistic that people who have already torn one achilles tendon are more likely to tear the other at some point.

    The reason I am willing to give up sports is because I dont know how to not play hard and often times I push myself harder than I should. I never developed that regulator that warns you when you are pushing a little too hard. On top of that I have a 2.5 year old and another on the way in October. It breaks my heart when my daughter asks me to go outside to push her on her swing, and I have to tell her I cant. I dont want to risk being sidelined another half a year from playing with her if I can avoid it. Also I find it hard to understand the concept of trusting my legs again. I dont feel like I did anything wrong to become injured. I wish I stepped in a hole or stepped on someones foot, but all i did was jumped up caught a high pass, landed, and took off to drive baseline.

    I’m sure time will heal. In general I am fairly optimistic about my recovery and honestly more concerned with my non ruptured achilles than I am with the bad one haha.

    Thanks again!

  17. @ka744 -

    I think cserpent covered some good stretches. The only thing I’d add is that you might look at slant boards (or stretch boards). I have tight calves and my physical therapist recommended working on flexibility on my good side. I basically do all of the rehab exercises and stretches on both sides. (I ruptured my right AT in March). I have a slant board at home now and I use it to stretch out my right calf 2-3 times a day. Just gentle stuff, but I already see better range of motion on that side.

    RE: returning to sports and other activities, I can relate. Immediately after the injury and for a few weeks after surgery I told anyone who would listen that I didn’t care if I ever played any sports again. I just wanted to be able to play with my 2.5 year old son. Or, in those first days, I just wanted to be able to go upstairs at his bedtime to help tuck him in. So that first few weeks was rough, for sure.

    But as the weeks went along my repaired leg started to feel better and the thought of getting back to sports didn’t sound so bad. Now I’m at week 9 post-op, walking pretty well in my boot, playing outside with my son, and I can imagine playing tennis and basketball, doing some running, etc.

    I guess this is a long way of saying “Hang in there.” Once the initial shock wears off and you start feeling better you might find that the thoughts of explosive movements and sports aren’t so crazy.

    (Though I still watch people run up stairs and marvel at their sturdy, flexible Achilles. If only they knew!)

  18. oops - I meant I use the slant board on my *left* calf 2-3 times a day. I actually don’t do much of that kind of stretch on my repaired leg yet.

  19. I can relate 100% with this:

    “I just wanted to be able to play with my 2.5 year old son. Or, in those first days, I just wanted to be able to go upstairs at his bedtime to help tuck him in. So that first few weeks was rough, for sure.”

    Ill keep my mind open. I think its a blessing and a curse I have so much time to sit around and research this injury.

  20. That’s very true! I have to cut myself off after too much research.

    Forgot to mention that I also felt my left Achilles working a lot in the first few weeks. I used an iWalk hands-free crutch that had me putting quite a bit of stress on my good leg. That also felt a lot better after week 4 or so, and I’m guessing my left leg got stronger and more accustomed to the extra work.

    I found a few studies out there about rupture rates for the other leg, but nothing extensive or definitive. The one I latched on to estimated a 6% chance of a rupture on the other side and I stopped looking after that. I’ve learned to stop the researching when I find something reasonably positive (other studies had scarier numbers).

    I guess I also have a bit of a dark sense of humor. If it happens again, at least I have all the crap I’d need, and at least I’d be able to drive during the recovery. That’s what’s killing me now - I have to schedule rides for almost everything. And maybe my son will be older and I can train him to more reliably bring me a beer. :)

  21. Hahaha, I guess that is where I am lucky. I can drive currently because it is my left foot! BTW I messed up and read that 80% achillesblog post. I gotta get off the internet.

  22. Yeah, I think I saw that one, too. If I remember correctly there wasn’t much evidence provided.

    The one I found is at Lower Extremity Review in an article titled “Epidemiology of Achilles tendon rupture in the US” (I’d post a link but for some reason that doesn’t always show up.)

    There’s a quote in one section about halfway down: “This suggests that, if one ruptures an Achilles tendon on one limb, the risk of a rupture on the contralateral side is significantly higher than that of the general population described above (6.4% compared with .018%).”

    So, higher risk but that beats 80%!

  23. @ka744 Once you don’t have to elevate the foot so much you can get out there with your daughter and push her on the swing. I was an abysmal failure with crutches so I used a knee scooter (otherwise I’m sure I would have messed up my surgical foot by falling more seriously) and once I was beyond the 90% elevation point I used the scooter to get around on the soccer field to visit with my teammates. You certainly won’t be sidelined for 6 months from playing with her. I’m almost at the 3 month mark for Haglunds surgery and, other than I can only walk, my foot isn’t slowing down my day-to-day activities. You won’t be able to chase your daughter - other than at a walk - which might make her laugh! - but you can sure push her in the swing.

  24. Yeah i know, honestly I have done the greatest at keeping my foot above my heart. I keep it up, just not the ideal way. I appreciate the support. Im excited to get my new cast thursday as kind of my first check off.

    Thank you!

  25. @ka744 - and ice it! Behind the knee! And get your own blog started! :)

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