I’ve taken the road less travelled. Literally. Over the last month, I’ve been able to hike 6 miles and ride a bike. What a difference a few weeks makes!
At the start of 2-shoes, it felt like I was walking on a sprained ankle. I started again on crutches on the 1st week, but was able to ditch them by the end of the week as I got more comfortable putting weight on the foot. My first instinct was definitely to protect the foot, so once I got over that mental block, I started making progress.
My biggest hurdle wasn’t really the tendon, but the soleus muscle and heel pain. The big calf muscle is usually the gastroc, and the soleus is the muscle under that - basically right above the achilles tendon. It was really tight, which limited how far I could dorsiflex. For the first two or three weeks of PT in 2-shoes, I basically did a lot of stretches and massage. After one particularly vigorous session, it felt like a light came on - the muscle was less tight and I could focus on walking. After that, strength exercises were added, with the goal of getting my regular walking stride and pace back. Again, after two weeks, the light came on for some reason, and I was able to make further progress.
Today, I’m able to walk normally most of the time (there are some bad days) and easily do 2-heel raises. The heel pain is mostly gone, though if I’m on my feet all day, or if I wear dress shoes too long, the pain returns. The swelling is mostly gone too, though there are bad days there too. I’m doing more strengthening exercises to try to get comfortable jogging, and ultimately do a 1-heel raise It feels like I’m not making much progress towards the latter goal, but if history is any indication, at some point, it will just click if I keep working on it.