Striving to be well heeled: part 2

Painful steps forward…

Woohoo! At about 6 weeks post injury I had my first full, undisturbed night’s sleep – luxury!

Also, I was starting to push the rehabilitation beyond the ‘one size fits all’ protocol I had been given. I should say here – this was only because, as a Physio, I know what is safe to push and what mustn’t be compromised where rehab is concerned. I know when to be gentle and when care is less important – so please don’t think that without medical knowledge it’s okay to push the envelope.

My progress in rehab

Standing balance practise

The exercises I was doing included pointing my toes against a low resistance exercise band, sitting and standing with equal weight being taken through each leg, coming up onto my toes in a sitting position (so there is much less weight through my leg compared to standing), balancing on my left leg only and also lots of walking practice without the boot. This I did very slowly and with rails or the help of a wall for support, as needed.

I continued with daily brief massages and I managed to ditch the crutches. By 8 weeks I was allowed to remove the last wedge in my boot, increasing stretch on the tendon. So I was walking in the boot in a flat foot position 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Progress at last!

I’ve spent years instructing my clients in what to do at home but it’s not so easy to consistently commit to doing it oneself!

Achilles tendon and calf massage

Lessons learnt

An excellent lesson I learnt at this stage was to keep the bigger picture in the distance and to really focus on the small milestones that can be achieved, something I will utilise more in encouraging clients with their rehabilitation than perhaps I had done previously.

Of course, it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses in this second stage – I have had more pain than previously. This is not altogether surprising given the increasing loading on the tendon in day to day activity and the heavier and greater exercises I have been doing. But the pain has been good pain – in that it represents the progression of what I am able to do. I know it’s something I must respect but nothing to be concerned about.

change your mindset concept

This stage of the rehab journey has been encouraging and I have been able to maintain a more positive mindset and see the potential for full recovery. All recovery has ups and downs but I’ve been able to see an overall upward trajectory.

One of the more challenging aspects has been weight gain! I have not considered reducing my food intake to match the reduction in activity. This now means I have an extra motivation to keep working hard not only to regain full use of my Achilles tendon but also to reduce my girth! I realise I should have made adjustments.

If you are struggling to recover from an injury and need Physiotherapy treatment give us a call on 020 8876 5690 or book an appointment using the Book Now button on this page.