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DrSugar Answers: Running With Tendinitis?

DrSugar is in the house and answering your questions.

Hi DrSugar,
I was hoping you could help me with some questions. I am an avid runner and was recently informed that I have tendinitis in both my Achilles tendon as well as in a tendon on the top of my foot (I don't remember which one). Basically, my MD told me there's nothing he can do to help them heal, but I could try wearing a walking cast that only "might" help. I really miss running so I'm in the process of trying to find another doc that will try to help me. Do you know of anything that can help, or can you just give me some info on Achilles tendinitis?
— Pain in the Heel

Injuries like this just stink! To see what the DocSugar has to say about this, just


Achilles tendinitis is a common running- and jumping-related injury that affects the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel. The Achilles tendon plays an important role in the mechanics of running; it is the connective tissue that allows us to push off while taking a stride. Scientists have actually measured forces in the Achilles tendon to be 10 times that of the runner’s body weight. Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon and can be due to a number of common risk factors, including improper running shoes, running on uneven surfaces, overuse, or starting a running regimen too quickly. There is also a tendency for women who wear high heels and suddenly start a jogging routine to develop Achilles tendinitis because high heels reduce the use of the tendon, thus leaving it vulnerable to injury.

Preventing Achilles tendinitis is paramount because recovery from tendinitis can be slow and unsatisfactory for the avid runner, which I think is what you're experiencing. Visiting a doctor, as you did, is important to rule out a more serious injury such as Achilles tendon rupture (a tendon tear). Other treatments that can help include orthotics insoles that elevate the heel and reduce stress on the tendon. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can reduce inflammation in the short term, but are generally not recommended for extended periods. Like you mentioned, walking boots are also a treatment, but are generally reserved for fairly severe injury or impairment since they are very inconvenient to wear. Physical therapy and rehabilitation can also help speed the healing process and prevent future injury. Good luck, and you are right — if your doctor doesn’t help, go and try another.

If you have a question for DrSugar, send me a private message here and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

Join The Conversation
taratootie taratootie 8 years
Ahh, well I am always in the "rare" category and I am totally worried. Ive read about this and people say that youre fine, then it hurts a little and the BAM, you are in PAIN. I will try to calm down though, the stress cant be good anyway... <3
DrSugar DrSugar 8 years
Taratootie- tendon rupture from Cipro is actually very rare (ie <1%), especially in short courses. A three day course of Cipro will almost certainly not cause tendon rupture. It would be of greater concern if you were going to take it for three weeks.
taratootie taratootie 8 years
I asked a similar Q about what I can do to prevent injury after taking Cipro. I took it for allergy testing and would like to prevent the nasty side-effect (in about 10% of people) of tendon rupture. Any clues?!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Thank you guys for your advice! I feel like I can go back to the dr with better knowledge and get something done!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I just got told I have compartment syndrome. :( No running for me for 6 weeks. *sigh* Now I'm going to have to go on a diet.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
CNAY! you reminded me! I had PT for it as well...stretches to help losen everything up, and the PT actually figured out my metatarsul bone was too tight? he popped it and it was amazing. plus some sort of pulsing ultrasound thingy on my heels...
CNAY4811 CNAY4811 8 years
Ask your doctor for a referral for physical therapy. I am a PT grad student, and Achilles tendinitis is one of the most common injuries that we treat. There are a lot of things like massage, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, stretching, and therapeutic exercise that can provide not just a temporary relief of pain but a permanent solution to your symptoms- it's a no brainer!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
Hey Renees3: I have had ahcilles tendonitis in both feet as well. I got cortizone shots in them. very painful to get, but within 24 hours, your feet are amazing again. While it is only a quick fix to help mitigate the pain and provide relief, it's an option. Mine arose from working on my feet on uneven floors for long periods of time. I think I got 3 shots all together, and then when i stopped that job, the problem went away. But I can relate to the stiffness in your feet when you get up in the mornings...i couldn't walk up or down stairs properly at first because they just didn't want to bend properly first thing in the mornings.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Thank you for the information! That alone is more than my Dr gave me! I've been wearing brace things (like tight toeless socks) and I think that might be helping. I just wish there was something more I could do. I'll ask my dr about orthotics too. such a bummer.
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