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Achilles tendinitis - best remedy and best tennis shoes - Anyone? Help!

This year when I bought 2 new pairs of shoes I started noticing some pain in my achilles tendons. I kept coaching and playing tennis 2/3 times a week, high level tennis and just loving it.

Now its pretty bad. I just ordered Aircast Airheel Ankle Braces and once I get them plan to buy better shoes.

Has anyone experienced this problem and have you gotten better and what did you do that through your personal experience helped remedy it?

I just can's stop coaching or playing.....I love it too much...there has to be a fix. This is my first Achilles problem ever in my life.

Would appreciate any advice even though I have been icing and doing some research on stretching etc.

Thanks!

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This is probably the most comfortable tennis shoe that we've ever carried..
8 out of ten concourse members say this shoe is very comfy. Go into the Proshop and Just Try it on. Buy a Pair and get a free 30Min Tennis Lessons with CoachVtennis.com
Photo: 8 out of ten concourse members say this shoe is very comfy. Go into the Proshop and Just Try it on. Buy a Pair and get a free 30Min Tennis Lessons with CoachVtennis.com

the wilson Rush PRO https://sphotos-a-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/p480x480/485467_4315810232939_112727126_n.jpg is so comfy that i bought 4 pair.

Sorry to hear that you have gotten this ailment.  I had it before in a minor case, and for me I just rested it, then stretched often.  It is gone for now, but I worry that it could come back.  I know that tennis players hate hearing the "r" word because we love playing so much, but the key is rest... Here's the info I found online:

Nonsurgical Treatment

In most cases, nonsurgical treatment options will provide pain relief, although it may take a few months for symptoms to completely subside. Even with early treatment, the pain may last longer than 3 months. If you have had pain for several months before seeking treatment, it may take 6 months before treatment methods take effect.

Rest. The first step in reducing pain is to decrease or even stop the activities that make the pain worse. If you regularly do high-impact exercises (such as running), switching to low-impact activities will put less stress on the Achilles tendon. Cross-training activities such as biking, elliptical exercise, and swimming are low-impact options to help you stay active.

Ice. Placing ice on the most painful area of the Achilles tendon is helpful and can be done as needed throughout the day. This can be done for up to 20 minutes and should be stopped earlier if the skin becomes numb. A foam cup filled with water and then frozen creates a simple, reusable ice pack. After the water has frozen in the cup, tear off the rim of the cup. Then rub the ice on the Achilles tendon. With repeated use, a groove that fits the Achilles tendon will appear, creating a "custom-fit" ice pack.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and swelling. They do not, however, reduce the thickening of the degenerated tendon. Using the medication for more than 1 month should be reviewed with your primary care doctor.

Exercise. The following exercise can help to strengthen the calf muscles and reduce stress on the Achilles tendon.

  • Calf stretch
    Lean forward against a wall with one knee straight and the heel on the ground. Place the other leg in front, with the knee bent. To stretch the calf muscles and the heel cord, push your hips toward the wall in a controlled fashion. Hold the position for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat this exercise 20 times for each foot. A strong pull in the calf should be felt during the stretch.

Physical Therapy. Physical therapy is very helpful in treating Achilles tendinitis. It has proven to work better for noninsertional tendinitis than for insertional tendinitis.

Eccentric Strengthening Protocol. Eccentric strengthening is defined as contracting (tightening) a muscle while it is getting longer. Eccentric strengthening exercises can cause damage to the Achilles tendon if they are not done correctly. At first, they should be performed under the supervision of a physical therapist. Once mastered with a therapist, the exercises can then be done at home. These exercises may cause some discomfort, however, it should not be unbearable.

  • Bilateral heel drop
    Stand at the edge of a stair, or a raised platform that is stable, with just the front half of your foot on the stair. This position will allow your heel to move up and down without hitting the stair. Care must be taken to ensure that you are balanced correctly to prevent falling and injury. Be sure to hold onto a railing to help you balance.

Lift your heels off the ground then slowly lower your heels to the lowest point possible. Repeat this step 20 times. This exercise should be done in a slow, controlled fashion. Rapid movement can create the risk of damage to the tendon. As the pain improves, you can increase the difficulty level of the exercise by holding a small weight in each hand.

  • Single leg heel drop
    This exercise is performed similarly to the bilateral heel drop, except that all your weight is focused on one leg. This should be done only after the bilateral heel drop has been mastered.

Cortisone injections. Cortisone, a type of steroid, is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. Cortisone injections into the Achilles tendon are rarely recommended because they can cause the tendon to rupture (tear).

Supportive shoes and orthotics. Pain from insertional Achilles tendinitis is often helped by certain shoes, as well as orthotic devices. For example, shoes that are softer at the back of the heel can reduce irritation of the tendon. In addition, heel lifts can take some strain off the tendon.

Heel lifts are also very helpful for patients with insertional tendinitis because they can move the heel away from the back of the shoe, where rubbing can occur. They also take some strain off the tendon. Like a heel lift, a silicone Achilles sleeve can reduce irritation from the back of a shoe.

If your pain is severe, your doctor may recommend a walking boot for a short time. This gives the tendon a chance to rest before any therapy is begun. Extended use of a boot is discouraged, though, because it can weaken your calf muscle.

Thanks Mark, really appreciate it.  This is what I was looking for really, this helps a lot.  I am not looking for a sales pitch to buy shoes from sellers but rather personal experiences from tennis players who have had the injury and what their experience has been to remedy the problem first hand, what shoes helped them, what PT or advice.  Your post helps me a lot :)

I have been teaching 5 days a week and playing tennis 6 hrs a week hard core, just really enjoying it and maybe got too carried away playing;)

Yes, you are very right, we hate to hear "REST" we just don't want to, but this time I will give myself complete 1 or 2 weeks rest from playing tennis and do some therapy in house, still have to teach which I love...this may help.

I had right knee surgery 5 years ago and have been really working on my knees to strengthen and its been behaving but this Achilles Tendon problem is the first and very frustrating indeed!

Thanks Mr. Mayor, very helpful as always, appreciate your post very much as it address the core issue on problem solving :)

That was no sales Pitch.... it was an ad I ran....at the Concourse Pro Shop....but the reason why i ran the ad is because The show really does work.   if you have Leg problems you should try on that shoe. its like walking on pillows. & if you are coaching and standing still for long hours you will need a comfy shoe and also a performance shoe in case you have to prove yourself to some kids.  This is by far a great shoe and will help. I gotten splints & Achilles aches from shoes with not enough cushion & support. Also you might want to change your shoe earlier before the sole wears out. I have found that my knees and Achilles acts up around when the heal of the shoe wears thin from the side to side movement....the shoe is still good but the angle of the wear causes me leg problems.

Also keep your sneakers from getting too wet. it will stretch out the material and you will lose support and also feel pain. Also see a trainer..... there might be a muscle unbalance around the foot & Leg causing the problem.

Thx Coach V :) Now that you elaborated more I understand, you make a lot of sense for a coach and a tennis player.  Sorry, first it felt like a sales pitch to me because it was so brief.  I have had shin splints as well and changing shoes often and also cushion and support makes a lot of sense and I try to do this every 3/4 months  but it gets expensive doesn't it? but its a good investment long run to carry on doing what you love and stay healthy, so its worth it especially for coaching and playing on a regular basis!

Thank you for your more in depth feedback and I truly appreciate it Coach V!  I did buy Asics Gel Solution Slam already but  I will definitely try out the Wilson Rush Pro.  I wish everytime you bought tennis shoes there was more description on the shoe at the store. You kinda have to go online and research a bit, Ideal for:  pronation, supination, Achilles pain.  I think tennis shoes would also benefit from customer review's, some have them and some don't....all very helpful as athletes have to take their shoes seriously, not for looks but more for health (in my case ;).

Thanks again!

yeah the other players that didn't like the wilsons gave examples of having the Asics GEL. But as a coach your tennis shoes are tennis equipment and deductible in taxes. so the $400 I spent with my sponsorship discount with wilson I can write off.

The Asics GEL is feeling great so far.  I have also come to notice all the high top shoes in the back seems to aggravate the Achilles tendon by rubbing against it.  So, I am always looking for lower shoes.  Thanks for tips!

I am not a doctor but I learned regarding tennis elbow that any tendon problem and damage often occurs because the muscles around the tendon are not strong enough to share the load thus putting much more strain on the tendon causing the -itis

once the pain is gone, i would check in with a physical therapist about strengthing the muscles around that region to lighten the load. 

Ummm.  this sounds like good advice for me  - I gotta hit the gym - I think I have 3 target areas now.

Yes indeed, sounds about right. I think my ankle overall may need some strengthening exercises.  I've already started with the foam cup icing (brilliant idea Mark) and also changed shoes, put a heel gel cup and am doing a bunch of stretching and also have taken 1 week off from walking and tennis and am just itching to get back on the tennis court but I have been good so far :)  The calf stretch really seems to help.  Just got to keep working at it religiously.  Thanks for the advice!

Achilles Tendinitis Be Gone - and it is gone :) From my recent personal experience after taking all the suggestions into account, my achillis tendinitis is almost gone.  One very important factor that helped me personally was "Orthaheel" Support.  Here in Austin, TX I bought it at the Instep store.  I posted a photo on Twitter.  This support helps align your whole body from bottom to top and also helps with knee pain, heel pain, back pain and leg pain so it says.  It has really helped me with my problems which are knee pain, shin splints and recent Achillis tendinitis.  Ofcourse I dedicated myself to getting better by icing 3 times a day, a lot of stretching and exercises (found on Youtube :) and also bought new shoes.  Another big one is you have to strengthen your ankle muscles and heel raises standing on your toes and lowering and repeating several times a day has a huge impact in strengthening the Achilles tendon.  Thanks all for the suggestions! Now I can get back to playing again but I will keep up with the strengthening and stretching and icing everything that is necessary just as a cautionary measure!  Hope this helps others! 

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