For the last year or so I've developed a bump on my achilles tendon. It is directly behind the mallelous (i.e. about 3.5 inches from the bottom of my heel.) I've done a lot of research and it seems to be tendonitis or tendonosis. It isn't overly painful and I don't notice it much when running. In the morning or after sitting for an hour or so, my heel tightens up and for a minute or two I hobble around until it warms up again. I sometimes notice that it aches in the middle of the night,but never more than a 1 or 2 on a 10 scale of discomfort. I've tried running with it, and taking time off from running(up to one month) and it doesn't change much. I'm concerned it's leading to a potential rupture of my achilles (ie. that it may be a weak spot.) I've tried exercising (heel or calf lifts), I've used a pad under my heel to increase it's height. I've been running for almost 30 years...around 20-25 miles per week most of my life. Is this going to be permanent and go against my mantra that all running injuries eventually heal? Anyone else experience this? Thanks, Mike
Mike, I think you're wise to be concerned and conservative. In some cases the thickening of the tendon is indeed indicative of tendinopathy (usually tendinosis). The form of exercise that seems (at least according to research) to be most helpful in stimulating collagen reformation is eccentric-type exercises. In other words the lowering phase of your calf raises. Use of a heel lift usually helps to relieve some of the chronic load on the tendon, but it can lead to a shortening of the muscle/tendon unit so you don't want to use the lift for long. Have you had a gait analysis done to see if there is something biomechanical that's contributing to this?
Hope this helps, Janet
Treat the cause, not just the symptoms... http://www.runningstrong.com
I have something similar, the from of my ankles start to hurt extremely bad while walking. I was told one it was tendonitis years ago. Usually after a mile or so it stops hurting as bad, but the pain is terrible. I have noticed there is a bump on the out side of my ankle about 3 inches up from ankle bone. It almost feels like the muscle/tendon is tightening up.
I have been fighting a bad Achilles heal for a while. Seeing a DR and getting an MRI is a good first step but you seem to have a classic case. Ibuprofen (after runs), icing after runs, heating pads at night/or when ankle is NOT already inflammed from running, vibration (use the same as heat), heal lifts, taping your ankles (very useful for shorter runs...say less than 5 miles but loose support on longer runs), and Achilles tendon braces (more cumbersome and less comfortable than taping but with velcro adjustable straps so that over a long run you can stop and adjust the tension relief on the tendon) can help you run through minor pain. I use a combination of all of these. If you DO use a lift...be sure to use it in both shoes so you don't throw off your bio-mechanics and make things worse.
If you had caught this BEFORE you developed a bump (which is most likely a calcium deposit) giving your ankle a rest could have made the difference. However, once the calcium has built up it is difficult for it to be broken down. Surgery or ultrasonic treatment may eventually but your only long term option. Surgery can take a year or more to recover from a runners perspective. Only your Dr. can really say how far advanced your calcium deposit is. Very likely, you might have had a tendon tear early on that started all this and ran through it...the pain is not really that high on a typical run because the tendon "warms up" even though the pain can be quite high in the morning or decending a flight of stairs after sitting around the house.
One more piece of advice...try to avoid running on your toes or barefoot running with an achilles problem...this really strains the tendons.
Please post anything useful you find..you are certainly not the only runner with this problem.
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
Bump, schump. In November I decided to renew my running by running every other day. The rest days in between my run days seem to have worked wonders. My heel has been almost asymptomatic the entire time ( on the rare occassion I notice it, it's a few hours after running and is a 1 or 2 out of 10.) I really think the forced day of rest between runs is the trick.