I’m pretty cranky this morning. I get that way with pain… especially pain that affects my mobility. Welcome to Achilles Paratenonitis.
Webmd.com tells me it is “inflammation of the covering of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It can cause scarring that restricts the motion of the Achilles’ tendon.” Tell me about it!
I started feeling it when I awakened the morning of the second day of the 2016 Ride For Mike. Once I got on the bicycle and got warmed up, I felt okay. The following morning things were a little worse but manageable. I went to work Monday morning stiff more than in pain. The pain came later in the “Grade 1” area seen in the graphic up to the lower calf muscle.
Tuesday I was noticeably limping. By the end of the day, the limp was a jerk as the pain shot up the back of my lower leg each time I bent my ankle. I wanted some relief.
Remembering that warming my leg up on the bicycle helped, I decided to do a lap of the London 8 on Zwift. Sure enough, after a painful start, my muscles stretched out and warmed up. I wasn’t without pain, but it certainly felt better.
Until I was off the bicycle for several minutes. Oh. My. Word. It felt like my leg seized up. I was not feeling more pain than before. That is when I went to the web to find out what might be up.
“Achilles paratenonitis is caused by overuse or repeated movements and poorly fitted shoes,” was the reason Webmd.com gave for the cause. Well, I don’t know about the poorly fitted shoes, but I certainly had some repeated movements!
One question that came to mind was that the article went on to say, “Symptoms are usually worse during activity.” This isn’t really the case for me — when I am on the bicycle. Walking and especially going upstairs is awful. However, riding the bicycle isn’t nearly as bad.
Whatever the case, I’m going to be good from now on! I’m taking the advice of the article, “Treatment consists of rest, pain relief, stretching exercises, and changes in sports techniques and footwear to reduce stress on the tendon.” I’ll be off the bicycle for a few days. I’m taking some acetaminophen, putting my leg up on ice when I’m home, and trying to gently stretch.
One thing I have learned from this is that as you get older, you can’t just jump out there and do the things you could do when you were younger. Next time I’ve got to do a better job of training. I’ll pay with the work early, or pay with the pain later.