CardioJunkie’s AchillesBlog

3 Months - Recovery is a Work in Progress

December 6, 2014 · 4 Comments

WEEK 12 – Physical therapy continued at three times a week and my PT used neurostimulation, hand massage, and joint mobilization. At the same time, the AT at the heel got a little worse due to the PT and exercises. But over the course of one week, I saw improvements in flexibility and progress.

Walking – I was not able to walk correctly during two-shoes because of the swelling, so my walking gait is off.

Workouts – Returned back to the gym to incorporate heavier weights and other ways to get strength in my right quad/upper right leg.  I resumed Pilates and Yoga classes three times a week (no planks, no military push-ups).  I did a lot of variations of lunges, some with glides, squats (double, single assisted), sometimes sets with barbells.  For hamstring, I did deadlifts or stand with a ankle weight on my right leg to work the hamstrings.  Several times a week, I used the hip abductor/adductor and leg press (both legs, single right).  I continued upper body and core work.

Weeks 13-15 – PT has really helped my ankle/foot ROM and strength.  Incidences of swelling at the ankle (injury #1) are reducing.  Now the swelling seems to be mostly at the AT insertion to heel (injury #2).  My quad and leg strength are increasing.  For now, I will work on getting the rest me stronger.  The foot, ankle, and calf strength recovery may take longer, but I am seeing incremental improvements with each passing week.

Walking and Stairs – This has been a real battle.  I need to consciously correct my walking gait.

Physical Therapy - I am hampered by pain with the achilles at the heel, so my PT has started me on the Biodex machine (applies torque to strengthen the ankle and gastrocnemius muscle).  PT has incorporated the aerobic step for step-ups and Bosu with knee/leg lift to work the foot, ankle, and calf with some instability.  I am also trying to do sustained single-leg balance on the Bosu (this is PT’s idea and are hard to do even on my good leg).  I can do standing calf raises, but they require stretching of the achilles/calf beforehand (Pro-Stretch, dino disks).  At home, I found that I can stand on my mini-trampoline to do calf raises and “walking” on on my toes without pain.

Workouts – I have a workout log to track my progress.  I am thinking of variations to engage multiple muscle groups and will adapt some from my Bootcamp classes.  In my Pilates and Yoga classes, there are a lot of standing leg balances and I focus on pointing my foot and flexing ankle DF.  The classes use slow movements to engage muscles from different angles.  I cannot use a stepper or elliptical trainer because the movements cause pain in my AT, but I will try again in the coming weeks.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • herewegoagain // Dec 6th 2014 at 8:53 pm

    You have been working hard! Hope the pain eases up, sometimes I am totally wiped out after PT but fine the next day. Its that incremental approach that is so frustrating, but effective. Have you tried downward dog in your yoga classes yet? Something about that pose makes me cringe- planks and push ups are fine though. Funny how much our head plays games isn’t it!

  • cardiojunkie // Dec 6th 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Yes, most definitely after PT. A little ice and the overnight rest helps. I am the opposite from you — Downward dog is fine. I can’t do planks or push-ups because of the heel surgery, so I have to wait on those.

  • normofthenorth // Dec 7th 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I am generally a dove (wimp?) when it comes to pain at the insertion point. Your case is unusual, of course, because you had a repair done there with a titanium screw. But I think I’d still back off when it hurts at all.
    And yes, I’m generally a “hawk” for fast rehab, early WB, PT, mobility, etc.

  • cardiojunkie // Dec 7th 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Norm - Yes, I was thinking I just need to be patient. If it hurts I need to give it more time. Thanks.

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