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Boot fit to accommodate achilles tendonitis?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I assume my ultimate solution is to see an expert bootfitter but, before I do that, I thought I'd get the thoughts of others who might have a similar problem: years of running hills have given me what appears to be achilles tendonitis, one symptom of which is a large bump of scar tissue on my achilles tendon at about point of the ankle height. It is rather painful to touch and creates a debilitating pain when compressed in a ski boot; I managed only three runs the other day before the pain forced me off the mountain.

I suppose one could work with the boot liner and shell to substantially lessen the pressure on the achilles, but a glove-like fit on that part of the boot seems essential to heel hold-down, and I can't picture how I would be stable in the boot if the liner is not snug to the achilles and back of ankle area.

Any thoughts?

Also, any thoughts on how to attack the problem at the source and reduce the scar tissue volume (and stopping running is not high on my list of solutions!)? I've heard advertised new ultrasound or similar techniques to break up scar tissue, but they sound like snake-oil remedies to me.

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 4
I’ve had a similar problem for several years except my boots don’t seem to cause any pain once I get my foot in. In fact my water ski boots, which are quite a bit tighter than snow ski boots seem to make it feel better. I think it’s the compression along with the cool water. Your boots must be very tight in the heel and achilles area. My pain is always worse the first few steps in the morning. I haven’t been running for a couple months because I sprained my ankle while running one November morning before daylight. However with the layoff from running, the pain has almost completely gone away. The knots, which are just above each heel seems to have also shrunk. From what I’ve been able to research on the web about Achilles tendonitis, running up hills aggravates the problem. We don’t have too many flat places around where I live to run. I ride a bike setup on a trainer in our basement during the winter months to keep in shape. However the problem with the Achilles tendon always starts coming back after running by mid summer. I’ve found specific stretching and strength exercises for the Achilles on the web that seem to help but the problem always comes back.

When running, I always try to stretch and warm-up carefully before running. Stretch afterwards and use an ice pack if I have any pain. One web site suggested that tight calf muscles could be one cause of Achilles tendonitis along with over pronation of the foot/ankle. I understand what you’re going thru but you might try an orthopedic specialist before the problem gets too bad. I hate to go to the doctor, but if my problem continues this summer I might not have any choice.
post #3 of 4
I was skiing on Langes, an 8.0 angle, which I think was a very aggressive angle. The further the boots are angled, the tighter it gets your achilles and the more likely it is for your's to get inflamed.

I had a real bad case a few years ago. I put a heel lift in under my footbeds. You can get them here http://www.tognar.com/ for a couple of bucks. Worked pretty well for me. The lift puts some slack in your achilles and decreases the pressure. I also took 2 weeks off and that helped as well.

I have since switched to a Salomon boot at a 9.0 and have not had any problems skiing with them without the heel lift.

[ January 06, 2004, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: CAPBOY ]
post #4 of 4
Almost 2 yrs ago I developed the same problem and last winter suffered similarly, could only do a couple of runs at a time with pain getting progressively worse during the day. This past summer I saw a sports medicine doctor who gave me some heel cushions for my running shoes, they're really squishy and about 1/2" thick. The pain and sensitivity to touch diminished quickly and I was able to increase mileage and get back to playing soccer. This season I still get pain but not like before, I can ski all day without unbuckling. I guess everybody is different, but from my experience I'd advise you to look carefully at your running shoes, think about some extra heel cushioning, and take a lot of ibuprofen. Also my doctor told me the tendonitis was from overuse and I was in no danger of tendon rupture, which was a big relief.
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