Author Topic: Sore achilles two weeks before tour  (Read 3416 times)

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Offline theworldawaits

Sore achilles two weeks before tour
« on: August 04, 2011, 03:52:38 am »
Hey everyone,

I am hoping to start a cross-continent tour in two weeks.  I'll start from Vancouver, BC and make my way down to Astoria... before heading due east along Lewis & Clark and Transamerica.

My concern is my achilles tendon.  I did my first mini-tour about a week and a half ago.  I rode 300 miles round-trip over the course of four days.  I felt great, and had lots of energy.  On the last day I felt a slight pain in my achilles... but after stopping and stretching lightly - it did not bother me at all for the rest of the day.  The day AFTER the tour - it was in pain.

I took it easy for about five days... light stretching... massaging... and generally staying off it as much as possible.  Over the weekend I needed to run some errands (bike is my only vehicle) and the pain came back (though not as bad at first).

I begin my ride in two weeks.  I'm a bit concerned that it won't fully recover in time (and time is already running out for a cross-country trip, stopping several places to fundraise along the way). The first leg of the trip will be very light (will take two weeks from BC to Portland)... but I'm wondering if this achilles issue could come up down the road?

Has anybody had any experience with this?  Any tips on the best way to recover a sore achilles?

Any tips on how to ease into my ride so it doesn't become an issue along the way?

This is my first big tour.  Any thoughts/insights would be great!

« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 03:55:15 am by theworldawaits »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Sore achilles two weeks before tour
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2011, 09:15:53 am »
If in doubt, I'd see a sports medicine orthopedist.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Sore achilles two weeks before tour
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 11:29:03 am »
I can tell you something that works, however, you might want to avoid using this method. Take a day off. Clean the skin over the inflamed area. Apply DMSO and let it cross the skin barrier. Then, rub in aspercreme. Later, clean the area well and apply DMSO. Repeat the series of duel applications throughout the day. The next morning when you wake up you tendon will no longer be sore. 

You might not want DMSO in your body, and that's where it goes. Put it on your leg and you can taste it in your mouth a while later.

Offline happyriding

Re: Sore achilles two weeks before tour
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2011, 05:25:56 am »
I developed some achilles tendonitis on a long tour.  I resorted to stretching every morning and icing it at night when I could, and that seemed to keep it from becoming disabling.  If I were you, I would not ride anymore before your tour.  Between now and your departure date, ice your achilles every two hours throughout the day if you can.  No stretching.  The best way to ice your foot is to put your foot in a bucket of ice water for 15 minutes.  But it hurts so bad the first 3-4 times you do it, you might not be able to withstand the pain.  After those first four dunkings, it is much easier to tolerate the ice water, and your foot will go numb after a few minutes.  

The second week, alternate between heat and ice.  The last two days before your departure date, apply the heating pad and try some gentle stretching(you don't want to feel any pain), and then immediately apply ice.  If you aren't adverse to it, take a full dose of anti-inflammatories(ibuprofen/Advil) every day and don't miss any dosages. Then when you leave on your tour try to gently stretch your achilles every morning, and spend the first 30 minutes of your ride spinning easily as a warm up.  If you feel pain when you stretch, don't stretch--you'll probably just do more damage.

You should also lower your saddle about 1 cm to protect your achilles from having to stretch too much at the bottom of your pedal stroke.  For the first week of your tour, plan on taking two rest days--so two days riding, one day resting--and ice your foot as much as possible on your rest day.  That will also help your butt get acclimated to long days in the saddle.

I had days were I finished, and I thought I wouldn't be able to ride the next day, but the next morning the pain was completely gone.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 05:58:06 am by happyriding »