I’m just going to cut to the chase… In so many words, I’m hurt, and I’m hurt pretty bad… About 3 days ago I was doing 30M sprints and when I went to push off my left leg, I felt something below my calf give out (right above ankle) and I could no longer run at all. My foot and ankle area is swollen and I walk with a limp… It was the most terrifying feeling I have ever had in my life that was self inflicted, but surprisingly, I hardly have any pain. The pain is 2 on a scale of 1-10, and if I don’t move my foot at all it’s 0.
I know what I did wrong: 1. Not enough regeneration (i.e Massage). 2. I got very strong in a short period if time (I set new weight lifting records in the gym, almost doing 315 on INCLINE bench). 3. I did a Bll**s 15 warm up…
Doing light research, I’m pretty sure I tore my Achilles tendon. Thankfully, I did not do a complete separation because I can still move my foot in all directions in addition to the fact that I don’t have insurance or $$$$$ for surgery. Lucky, I’m self employed so i can set my own hours.
I’m only 3 days in now and I can feel my leg getting better… I’m doing self massage, lots of Ice, EMS and rest. I hoping I can start walking normally by next week because I have to get back to work…
Anyhow, at my age (33) this might be a injury that takes me out of the 100m/200. If that’s the case, I’m moving back up to the 400m…
Man I’m kind of sad… Tearing tendons is serious business as they don’t grow back as quickly muscles do. I know power lifters tear pecs all the time and some of those guys get back into it, but many don’t. There is this one guy in my gym who tore his pec and now years later he walks around really sad because he can’t bench the 400lbs he use to and just sticks to the cable machines.
Getting strong is fun. Getting fast is a great deal of fun also but the results generally are not as quick and you don’t get to see the results as easily. I bet the reason you felt the need to get stronger so fast without paying more attention to how to balance the lifting with your running was you were not happy with your speed progress?
I would buy a paraffin wax bath asap to manage the scar tissue. You will not hurt yourself assuming the worst until you get pictures of the actual injury.
I am sorry this happened to you.
Find out anything and everything you can but work around it as much as you can. The progress in sport injury is mind blowing but you need to find it and access it to the best of your abilities.
I would not use any type of heat at this time as there is sure to be some inflammation. My guess would be a torn achilles tendon as well given your description. It may be torn all the way still because there are several other muscles around the ankle that help to move in all directions (ant. tibialis, post. tibialis, peroneals, etc.) You need to go to a doctor and get it tested. You need to know exactly what you are dealing with before trying to manage it.
This is really bad news- sorry to hear you’re injured. Can you get an MRI without spending a fortune?
I’ve always been curious about hot wax treatments that were mentioned in CFTS by Waldemar.
I have received a lot of help from Angela over the past couple of years, and her advice has always been both astoundingly timely and tremendously helpful. If Angela says to do a paraffin wax treatment, I’d listen carefully.
Angela, could you expand on when paraffin wax treatments are considered useful and how often they should be used? Should they only be used during an injury? Can they be used along with massage, hot / cold showers for general maintenance, or not? This is something that a lot of us are probably not that clear on.
With regard to this particular injury, once you have a handle on how severe the tear is, perhaps you can consider some alternatives to surgery. I know of one athlete who had an 80% tear and opted for PRP injections instead of surgery- it may actually be less expensive as well. She is back functioning at 100% right now. PRP can be very effective for low blood-flow areas in many cases. One of my athletes recently had this done- shoot me a PM if you’d like to discuss further.
Thank you for the reply… I’m getting better each day. The swelling is going down and I notice I have small bruise on the back of my leg right above the ankle where the pain is concentrated the most. The only major problem is that I feel extreme tightness from my achilles tendon, once the tightness goes away, I know I will be able to walk normally again.
As far as getting tested. My business recently landed a 4k contact, so I’m sure I can at least use some of that money to get the proper testing done.
BTW, I can move my injured foot in all directions with no pain or problem. It’s only when I need to walk, I have such tightness that I have to limp.
Wax is supposed to break down scar tissue by providing moist , deep heat specifically to tendons. I don’t think using paraffin is a secret for it’s use in injury treatment.
Years ago I was in clinic and met a young guy who had both his feet crushed by a machine at his family’s business. His feet were very seriously injured. As I was telling him about the wax he quickly replied he had already bought a paraffin bath and was using it multiple times a day and it was making a huge difference for him.
I remember going to Italy in the Spring of 1988. We were coming back from a meet in Sestriere ( Italy). At this facility I met Mennea who was jogging around the track doing a workout. There were whirlpools and cold dunk tanks and paraffin tanks as well.
That was a long time ago now and this kind of information is not new. People are reluctant to accept easy methods of healing or treatment in favor of treatments where cost is prohibitive.
Inflamation usually takes 10 days to settle down, which by my reckoning will be this Saturday. Find a good physio who is skilled at assessing injuries, so many athletes go down the wrong route of treatment because of incorrect diagnosis. I wish you all the best and hope its not as bad as you think it is.
Thanks for the reply Phil… and you’re spot on… My swelling is down considerately and I’m able to walk pretty good, though with a slight limp. I don’t want to get to ahead of myself, but I don’t think it’s bad as I thought it was because each day I’m getting better and better.
Good news, try getting some physio felt or thin foam for the heels of your shoes, make sure they are cut to the right shape. Try wearing them for a while to see if you feel a difference walking around, it should take the strain off your tendon and aid recovery. Once your shure the inflamation has gone get some massage on the calves to make sure they are not contributing to the problem. Keep us update will watch on with interest, good luck. A 15 year old girl I coach felt a slight pull on her achilles last night, she had the sense to tell me straight away, stopped the session and administered 20 minutes of ice. Fingers crossed for her as well, not an overtraining issue so right out of the blue.
Thanks for the tip… Yesterday, I was finally able to (standing up) push off my toes and raise my own body weight. I can’t do it yet with only the bad leg, but I can do it with both of my feet at the same time.
I say at this point, the only thing that is driving me nuts is the inability to sprint!!! God, what I would do just to be able to rip one 60m sprint!!! The weight room is not enough anymore to get my fix…
Also, I started the wax treatment. Feels good when my foot is encased in the heated wax. It feels like you’re wrapped in a super warm blanket in the middle of winter time. However, had I known beforehand, I would have just bought the wax by itself and a huge pan to put the wax in and just dunk my leg into it because the heating unit is just to small for a 230lbs grown man such as myself. Most of the heating units I seen on the market are made to fit female feet and hands and there is not enough height for the wax to go above you’re ankle.
Wow, my leg is feeling much better! I’m able to walk now at 80% speed (with a SLIGHT limp). My tendon is still tight which is the only thing that is causing the slight limp. All swelling is down except for a small puffy area around the bottom of the ankle area…
What I feel helped my leg the most (I feel) is hot and cold contrast therapy! I used a bucket of ice cold water and another bucket with hot tap water and went back and forth for 30 min. After that, I either did the paraffin wax, self message, or sometimes even both… I’m not taking anything other then the MSM supplement that I posted above. and Gaspari nutrition multivitamin.
At this rate, I think I might be able to start slow tempo on the grass in 2-3 weeks… Also, I think I’m going to change up all my training where all my runs are on grass. I’m out here in the suburbs and many of the tracks are closed off and sometimes I drive 20 minutes to a track only to be kicked off, or find out the track is closed. On the other hand, I’m surrounded by so much open grass fields it’s crazy and I don’t have to worry about anybody bothering me…
• I have no more tightest in my tendon, I can walk up and down stairs, or uneven grass, without any pain.
• My foot is still slightly swollen around the ankle area.
• I found out what caused the slight limp that I still have. I have little push off power from my injured leg when I’m walking. I found out by using the calf extension machine. In my last entry, I used the calf extension machine and I was not even able to do 10lbs, but yesterday, I was able to do 10lbs for 20 reps, so at this rate, my injured leg will be slowly regaining its power to push off properly little by little each day. I’m getting better, but at the rate I’m going I’m not going to be fully healed for about 3-6 months…
On a positive note, my lifts are going up… I rotate my main lifts (decline,incline flat) in the bench, and yesterday, I made a record 315 decline bench. I have never been so spent from doing an upperbody workout only… I only did 1x315, and I had to sit down for 2-3 minutes because it was such a shock to my system… Even last night I had a hard time sleeping because my CNS was so awake, and today I feel so tired and sore (inside of my arms)… Now that I’m in the 300’s, it really puts 365,385 or even 450lbs in perspective…
Good news… Yesterday I was finally able to start jogging again on the grass! I did 10 100m slow jog on grass. I thought I would be winded and out of shape but I felt fine and could have did 10 more if I really wanted to.
My injured tendon compared to my good leg is still large though. Everything else about my injured leg is ok… I walk about 95% normal but my jog gait still has a slight limp though… 2-3 more months and I should be able to start running again.