Dec 10 2011

26 weeks- no surgery, trying electric acupuncture

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

After putting up for a few months of tendonitis after my ATR I have started to try electric acupuncture. Had my first session yesterday. I usually feel about pain of 4/10 in my heel in the evenings and last night it was about 1/10. Best night in the last 6 months by far! Going back for another session next Friday. Anyone had a crack at this?

7 responses so far

Dec 01 2011

25 weeks no surgery- finding this very tough and very slow

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

So almost 6 months in, I look back and see good progress. Not as much as I would have liked though. After being told to expect  6-12 months recovery from most people, and being a very competitive person, I was ready to have this sorted in 6 months. What I have realised is that my mind is not in control of this injury, my body is. I need to listen to my body and what it is telling me more than I usually do. It is a complete mind change for me. When riding I liked to remember the saying ‘pain is weakness leaving the body’. Definitely not the attitude for an ATR.

I have read peoples blogs but recently I read them and feel I am behind so many people out there it is makeng me feel pretty down, so I read this site less.  At the end of the day 6 months ago I could not walk so I have moved forward. It is probably a good idea to write down what I can/can’t do now, for my benefit and hopefully others too, so:

I can walk without a limp from about half an hour after I wake up to about 7:00 at night. resting makes things stiffen up. I can do two footed heel raises easily but the weak calf aches in a non-painful way when doing this. I am doing 2 foot heel raises, transfer to injured leg, hold for 5 seconds, drop back down slowly 3 sets of 15, 4 times a day (this is with support by having my hands on a bench.

I can do 1 foot heel raises to about half the normal height when my foot is about 30cm back from  the bench, leaning on the bench  1 set of 15, 3 times a day. I can run for short distances (chasing my 4 and 2 year old kids round the back yard) slowly with some discomfort. I can ride my road bike to work about 10 min away of a flat road with no pain at all. I can walk on tippy toes ok-ish. Stairs are ok but get I pain in the back of my heel.

I still have pain, primarily at the bottom of my achilles/heel junction. I mainly get pain there when on the font of my foot walking. In the evening the pain aches there even when sitting down. My PT is ok although she is meant to be very good. Maybe I am just bummed at her that my progress is so slow. Basically I have never had a massage from her, no utrasound. Got some acupuncture from her my that did not help.

My exercises from her for the last 10-12 weeks have basically been 2 foot heel raises up and down and also two foot heel raises up, pause on bad foot only, down on bad foot slowly. I am getting so bored of these. She says I need to get more strength in my ankle/leg (be able to raise it higher when doing my heel raises , start doing 1 foot raises) before I can start really strengthening it with outer exercises. She acknowledges I am a slow healer.

Is is worth getting second opinion or should I just keep going along slowly and see gradual progress as progress nevertheless. Are there other exercises people can recommend? Summer is here in NZ and I and to be part of it!

Will be checking this site more so replies would be great!

Happy healing and take it easy all!

10 responses so far

Oct 08 2011

18 weeks, no surgery - on downer with tendonitis

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Yeah I have not been back in about 3-4 weeks ‘cos it is getting tough. I had a ultrasound this week and an appointment with the doctor at the hospital as I am still experincing constant apin in my achilles when walking when I put weight on the ball of my foot. The outcome was that my tendon has healed properly but I haven tendonitis.

Put in a nutshell it is basically my healed tendon has been doing too much work the last 8 or so weeks as my calf has shrunk so much. The tendon has started to do the work my calf should be doing resulting in tendonitits. In hindsight I should have taken my exercises a bit slower but that is with hindsight. What you could do in life if you had that as your superpower.

The doc said that the solution with tendonitis is to rest. However he said that that would not help me as I after the ‘rest’ my tendon would still be doing the work of my calf as it would still be weak.  What I need to do is exersise my calf to strengthen it so it will work properly and basically put up with the pain until I get there. So two foot heel raises and stretching is the plan for now. Doc said could be 2 months (although he gave me a 3 month prescription of diclofenac!).

So here I am battling on. No offense to people out there in achillesblogland but one of the things I am finding really tough is knowing I am now behind most people. The thing I am finding hardest about this is hearing what other people  are doing and how well they are progressing. It sounds so selfish but I am sure you all will understand where I am coming from.  Reading what people are doing makes me feel down about how slow I am going.

So people, my advice it take it easy, do not try to be the fastest healer you can be by doing lots on your newly healed tendon or it might just turn around and tell you to piss off. The result… tendonitis. More issues.

I will check this post to see if anyone has any words of encouragement or advice. Things are pretty tough but I do know I will get there it is now just a matter of when. Happy healing and take it easy all.

I do not mind the pain idea when exercising as long as I know I am allowed to feel it.

12 responses so far

Sep 13 2011

14.5 weeks, no surgery - backwards I go, too much too soon.

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Yeah I am pissed off with myself.

Thinks were going really well up to about  9 days ago, no real pain, increasing ROM, 2 foot heel lifts, 30 min sessions on the exercycle etc, very slight hobble when walking etc. Unfortunately the last week the pain has increased and I have been getting pain in my achilles and the back of my heel, along with quite a swollen ankle. People at work have been telling me i am limping more than usual too. Not cool at all.

To cut a longish story short I have gone back a 3 or so weeks with my progress. After seeing my PT today I need to start icing my achilles for 10 min 3 times a day.  Following each ice session I am to rub/massage arnica cream on my AT area. I am also on anti-inflammatory pills. No more WB exercises either, just that stretching by putting my knee to the wall one, and heel raises while sitting in a chair whilst tensing my calf muscle. I have to walk with a heel raise in my shoe too, walk shorter and slower steps.

So it could be much worse eh. I see this setback very much as just a timely reminder to me that I am not superhuman and I should not try to prove to myself I can get back to riding (which I REALLY miss) quickly by pushing myself harder. That is tough- to change that way of thinking as riding mountain bikes is all about pushing yourself as hard as you can. I do miss that feeling of pushing myself. It is a 12 month injury and I have in recent weeks looked at that as a goal I need to beat by as much as I can by upping the ante as much as is comfortbale. My body has just reminded me- No you can’t.

So yeah, my advice today- take it easy, I know I need to.

9 responses so far

Sep 10 2011

14 weeks, no surgery - walking, some pain and PT

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Well I am now 14 weeks post ATR. I have been 2 shoes for just over 2 weeks and I feel pretty good. I would say my walk at normal pace is about 90% normal looking and when I slow my pace down it looks even better.

I have also been doing a few half hour sessions on my exercycle, pedalling with what I would describe as about 20% resistance. I have been told to stop using the black theraband by my PT. Just as well as it snapped the other day from putting too much tension through it. The theraband that is, although I got one hell of a fright when I heard the snap!

For the last week I have been experiencing an increase in pain in my tendon and the back of my heel when walking (when on my toes and pushing off) The PT says this is because when I am doing my 2 foot heel raises I am not tensing and working out the calf muscle on my injured leg. This means that when I walk I am relying on the wrong muscles. Her solution is to do 2 foot calf raises but tense my calf muscle on my injured leg heaps and work it heaps. Man it is hard work too! And how often was I advised to do these- as much as possible.

I also find it helps to lean my body slightly so I have more weight on my injured side. When I am doing my heel raises I was also told to do them on a step so I am on my toes with my heels hanging off the edge. When lowering from my heel raises I now go past 0 degrees. I noticed tonight that when I sit on the floor with my legs straight and bring my toes towards me as far as I can both feet stretch to the same point. Yay!

PT also advised me to swim with a flutterboard with some short flippers.  I HATE pools and swimming - can anyone advise me as to how useful you found this exercise to motivate me to get into a pool!

Cheers to all the people who read my blog and  reply, and to all those others who have their own blogs. It does make this recovery easier knowing there more people who know exactly what you are going through. It seems there are a quite a few other mountain bikers on this site so once you recover and if you ever get to NZ and want a tour guide give me a yell!

Take it easy all

5 responses so far

Aug 25 2011

11.5 weeks, no surgery - 2 shoes!

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Yes another milestone! Went to the physio yesterday and became part of the 2 shoe club. Even though I have been sneaking around a bit at home in my bare feet I am now official.

I would say my walk appears to be about 85% normal looking. Not too much of a hobble and what hobble there is I feel will disappear with more walking as the foot/muscles start to move. It is now the first 2 shoe evening and the pain is about 1 out of 10 which I am stoked about. Interestingly, where I have the most discomfort when I have a stretch is on the top of my foot/bottom of my leg- where the foot meets the leg. Does this description make sense?

My new exercises are to do 2 foot calf raises whilst holding onto the kitchen bench for support, and also what I would call a calf stretch whilst leaning against a wall (doing this both sides). I also get to have a crack on my styley as new exercycle which will be cool (a retro 1969 tunturi W1 - 20 NZ dollars- google it!)

Something I have found pretty amazing is when I am bare foot walking on our wooden floorboards at home I can feel every slight imperfection in the floor though my foot and ankle, such as the cracks between floorboards and where two boards next to each other are not exactly level. It shows you just how many muscles you have in your foot and ankle, and how much work those muscles do (and how much more work I need to do to those muscles!).

Also I am stoked that I have been getting replies from people telling me they read my blog and it is helping them and motivating them. So to all those people who reply or even just read this, you guys are motivating me too. It feels that I have all these people on this website following my progress to see what may be involved for them. So I feel I am doing my stretches and exercises for you all too, to try to be the best example I can be for others.

So to all those out there in achillesblogland it does get better, the hardest part for me was the first 4 weeks, when you feel like your life is over for a year… then you start to PWB. From PWB it is just a whole lot of exciting steps along the way to recovery so keep positive, this do get better and you will feel incredibly proud of yourself as you begin to look back at how far you have come, physically, but more I feel more importantly, mentally.

Take it easy all.

mtbrider (aka 1969tunturiw1exercyclerider)

14 responses so far

Aug 19 2011

10.5 weeks, no surgery - first PT

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Well had my first real PT session today. The physio was happy with my progress since  saw her 4 weeks ago.

In that 4 weeks I have just taken off my boot and compression sock twice a day (lunch for 40 min and night for 1 hour or so) and pointed my toes away and towards me slowly, wrote the alphabet and numbers to 100 with my foot, and pointed my toes left and right. Never did this to the point of pain, only the point of feeling things stretch.

So yeah, she was happy and has got me to do basically the same movements but with a black theraband which is the sixth hardest colour out of the 8 they sell. Usually she does not start with the back but thought I was doing well - Yay for me! I also get to lift my heel up off the ground whilst sitting down, and the other one is whilst having my foot flat on the ground I bring it towards me until I feel a stretch then bring it a little further.

I asked if I could drive, ‘no’. I also asked if I could walk carefully to and from the toilet in the evening sans boot ‘no’ (oops have been doing this for the last 2 weeks, and still will!).

So have next PT at 11.5 weeks where I get to go 2 shoes, SCARY!

Take it easy all.

2 responses so far

Aug 11 2011

9.5 weeks, no surgery - no wedges!

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Yeah, went back to the hospital today and was told to remove my final moon boot wedge and start physio. That was cool news but expected as things have been feeling pretty good recently. Have been wearing a compression sock 24/7 since I got the moon boot. Been stretching/moving the ankle twice daily which feels good too. Keeping the boot on in bed (just in case) but taking it off for showering. Will have a moon boot-free sleep tonight though for the first time. Sure I will be sweet now for that…..yeah? Yeah?

Got a teaser form the nurse when I arrived today asking if I brought my other shoe - easy tiger…. I still have a wedge. Then the doc saw me and said no more wedges, then 2 shoes in 2 weeks! That is a cool thought but it will be interesting to see if I feel lost/insecure/vulnerable without the boot. I imagine I will.

Looking forward to starting PT, especially getting on the exercycle soon.

So that is the latest. Take it easy all.

6 responses so far

Aug 07 2011

Why not wedges under your toes?

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Just another thought that had popped into my head recently. I understand that the the reason you remove wedges in your moon boot is to slowly stretch the achilles back to 0 degrees. I have 1 wedge left in mine which gets removed in 4 days so I will be flat footed! Yay! But my thought was why don’t they stretch the achilles past 0 degrees in the boot by adding wedges under your toes once you heel ones have been removed?

3 responses so far

Jul 26 2011

Can I stretch my tendon ‘long’?

Published by mtbrider under Uncategorized

Hi all, just a quick question that popped into my head - I am in my moon boot (no surgery) at just over 7 weeks and have been taking it off 2-3 times a day to stretch my achilles (point my toes up and away from me) and do my ABC’s. Have been stretching for about 10 days. Things are developing very nicely with no pain, just the ‘tightness’. I know a concern of mine is the idea of healing ‘long’.

Am I right in thinking that at this stage I can stretch my tendon by bringing my toes towards me as long as I do not go past 90 degrees? Not that I can get there but am getting close. I am not using bands or anthing to stretch, just sitting on a couch with my ankle and calf resting on a coffee table.

Can you stretch your tendon too much at this stage and make it too long? Does anyone know how much of a stretch is too much? What about the rule ‘any stretch is great as long as there is no pain’? Should I take it easier? Argghhh so many questions!

6 responses so far

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