Jun 05 2014

Week 15 - Chugging along

Published by smick at 1:34 pm under Uncategorized

Not too much to share. Continuing to do my calf raises, walking and some stationary biking.

I’ve settled on Monday and Friday as my “rest” days where I try to not walk and skip my calf raises. Weekends are very active so Monday is a natural rest day where my achilles is feeling sore anyway. I still do core strengthening and balance exercises on those days.

I’m feeling continued strength building in my calf and can get a decent push off and heel lift walking on slight downhills. Still not doing unassisted one legged calf raises, but I did around six calf raises on the bad leg last night with just my fingertips on the bathroom counter. I’m guessing I’m around 20-30 pounds away based on the light tension I put on my hands. I can also push down/support my full body weight (170 lbs) on the scale and while walking up a step with everything except the ball of my foot hanging off! I feel like I’m getting very close!

I still get aches and pains from my foot and achilles, especially in the morning or when I have been sitting around for a while. The achilles achiness/stiffness goes away fairly quickly, but I also have weird intermittent pains at the front of my ankle and on the side, plus a little lingering ache around the insertional point of the achilles on my heel.

I’ve decided at this point that my Achilles achiness, which is not ever that severe, is just a warmup thing that is not going to go away magically. Not much inflammation or swelling, which is good, so I’m just trying to keep it to background level and not let it flare up to bothersome like it did on the weekends when I’ve overdone it.

Best wishes to everyone else in their recoveries!

16 Responses to “Week 15 - Chugging along”

  1. gocanes123on 05 Jun 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Good Update Smick, I too have been experiencing some aches and pains around the injured area this week as I begain calf raises and increased time on the stationary bike. I think I am going to back off on the bike for now and stick to PT exercises, mixed with calf raises, core, upper body, etc. What kind of work have you done on the stationary bike, any resistance, or just to get movement in both legs? It would be a good fram of reference for someone about a month ahead of me

  2. gocanes123on 05 Jun 2014 at 2:50 pm

    *From someone about a month ahead of me I should say

  3. smickon 05 Jun 2014 at 3:32 pm

    @gocanes - listen to your body, particularly if you are under 12 weeks. i backed off whenever my achilles seemed sore, but i’ve generally had a low level of achiness throughout.

    I started riding the stationary bike around 6 weeks for 10 minutes with no tension, just ROM. No sweating or exertion felt at all. I gradually increased tension and time and now do it for 25-30 minutes at a level where I am sweating for most of it and tired at the end. Just take it incremental and do a 10% bump in resistance and time each session. I only ride it 3x per week.

  4. davidkon 05 Jun 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Sounds pretty good to me, Smick! Just a few weeks behind you, I think this is the time for patience and working slowly to build-back strength and endurance. It’s certainly a recovery plateau, but so far I don’t find it frustrating. In fact, it’s fantastic to be walking again in 2-shoes–especially now that the weather is nice. I’m up to a 1-mile daily walk now with what I think is a (nearly) normal gait. Question for you: are you interested in and have you inquired about when you could start cycling outdoors (again)? I asked my PT a few days ago and got a non-specific answer of “not yet”. -David

  5. normofthenorthon 05 Jun 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Smick, I’d baby the lingering insertional-point pain. The rest I think you can just “listen to”. My $0.02, anyway.

  6. smickon 05 Jun 2014 at 11:02 pm

    @davidk - i never asked anyone but i started riding last week. short and flat, no worries about falling or climbing out of the saddle.

    @norm - i definitely am careful. the pain has really diminished and my PT assures me its my calcaneal bone not mobilizing… my whole ankle joint is a bit stiff. She is able to get it loose and the pain is instantly gone!

  7. smickon 05 Jun 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Oh and if anyone is interested, my pt thinks because my calf is weak I tense my foot and use all kinds of other small muscles to help lift the heel, instead of relaxing it and letting the calf and Achilles lift it. Just another little gait thing I need to work on as I get stronger!

  8. Roarkon 06 Jun 2014 at 8:50 am

    Hey Smick, around week 12 here, mine feels very similar in the morning or after longer periods of sitting down it feels really limited and stiff. But after working out or doing physio exercises it feels almost back to normal.

    But yours doesn’t sound that weak to me.

  9. gocanes123on 06 Jun 2014 at 9:10 am

    I’m realizing how dangerous the 10-12 week period is for a possible re-rerupture when you are firmly in 2 shoes and think you are ready for more than you can handle. Thanks for the bike perspective smick, I’m going to follow that advice carefully. Im not in as much discomfort as I was after my bike ride on Tuesday. I still am concerned something is not right with the AT given the soreness after that one particular workout, or if it is worth calling the doctor and going through all the motions, or to just simply let it rest over the next week.

  10. Roarkon 06 Jun 2014 at 9:26 am

    I think one of the problems at this stage is that muscles strengthen a lot faster than tendons. So the calf muscles are ready before the tendon is fully functional.

    gocanes, if it was me and I was experiencing a lot of acute pain with every step or movement I would rest it and call the doctor before I worked it again. If it was just some general soreness/stiffness/discomfort I would push through it. But that’s just me. A lot of us are athletes here and should be familiar with the normal feeling you get after working a muscle versus the feeling of something serious, so that’s something to keep in mind.

  11. normofthenorthon 06 Jun 2014 at 11:42 am

    @smick: I developed a pain in the other little muscle-tendon pair that can plantarflex the ankle (whose name I don’t remember right now), from exercising my weak calf and AT too hard trying for a good 1-leg heel raise. (As reported elsewhere, I never did get it, but that strength deficit has had no discernible effect on any of my activities, including competitive volleyball, bicycling, etc.) The pain went away after I backed off for a while.

  12. normofthenorthon 06 Jun 2014 at 12:01 pm

    And slick, your insertion point pain is unusual if your pt can cure it instantly. My pt caused mine, and it lasted a month! That spot can get overstressed, not good, and may also be a locus for referred pain, referred from the AT. Neither of those gets cured instantly.

  13. normofthenorthon 06 Jun 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Slick, smick… (THIS time my autocorrect chose “smock”!!)

  14. smickon 06 Jun 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Haha, yes thanks for the advice Norm. It’s definitely the one ache I watch the most carefully. Its gotten less and less every day, so knock on wood, whatever the cause it seems to be getting better.

    I was worried it was tendinopathy and my PT was pretty clear she didn’t think my description was what her other patients with tendinopathy experience (or it was very mild). She really thinks my foot is just stiff and working too hard to help the achilles/calf; I’m not pronating enough and keeping my weight on the outside edge of the foot when I am not paying attention.

    @gocanes - i happened to see my doctor once for a follow-up right after I overdid things one weekend and my tendon was sore. He told me to back off for a week, rest and never push things to where I felt any significant pain or soreness in the tendon area the next day. Ultimately, it’s your judgment call as only you truly knows how your body is feeling and the level of pain. But the penalty for overdoing things is clear in my mind - days of rest at least and the associated delay in your recovery schedule. I’ve been very conscious now about not doing much more than I did before ever.

  15. smickon 06 Jun 2014 at 12:57 pm

    And Roark, and others, the morning tightness is always frustrating. I wake up every day and for the first 15 minutes think I’ve regressed and my tendon is flaring up. Then it goes away and I feel good again. I wonder when it starts to fade… i’ve seen blog posts from others that are 6+ months out and they still have some aches/stiffness in the morning.

  16. Ali39on 07 Jun 2014 at 4:17 am

    Great progress. I remember that point you are at on the marathon tracker so well ;) I had stiffness for a long time but at some point along the way it improved and I hardly noticed the change. I found with many things about this injury I only realised it was no longer a problem when I re read my blog or other blogs. Keep up the great work.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Powered by WP Hashcash