Hello, I am a collegiate runner in my sophomore year. I have already been diagnosed with Achilles bursitis so we can move passed that. I ran on the injury for approximately 3 months thinking it would go away. My trainer gave me several quick fixes that seemed to stop pain for a couple days but it would soon come back. I went to get an MRI at the beginning of March and that’s when we realized I had bursitis. I have not run since March 1 and have lightly crosstrained since then (biking, swimming). I still sometimes have pain while walking or just sitting around. My question is: is cross training exacerbating the problem or does the injury just take a long time to heal itself? We are currently doing Ionto treatments. Are there any PT exercises I can do to strengthen this or do I just need to leave it alone to heal? Thank you for your time and help!
I am sorry to hear about your injury but the good news is your Achilles is not torn. If we assume your MRI was read correctly and the only issue is bursitis then there is no permanent damage to the tendon or region. A bursa is a synovial fluid filled sac meant to prevent friction between your Achilles tendon and the bone. It is not a contractile component so there is no way to strengthen it. However, there are ways to cause the inflammation to continue. For cross training, anything that causes it further pain and swelling will delay healing. If biking and swimming are not causing aggravation then they are fine to do. Iontophoresis using anti-inflammatory and ultrasound may be beneficial. In some instances, we will use a onetime well placed cortisone injection into the bursa which will generally knock it out. You may be able to continue to train and run using an AlterGravity Treadmill. This will allow you to train beneath the injury threshold and also maintain running cardiovascular fitness. Once you are running t 90% your body weight on the AlterG you should begin to attempt to run outside and should be ready to return to normal training. The AlterG Explained