Dunking Hot and Cold – Conquering the Achilles Problem
I’m not a particularly good patient at the best of times, most of that comes from me wanting to administer the healing. If I didn’t have an innate creative desire to work in music and entertainment I would have followed a career and trained in natural/holistic medicine, so I’m somewhat of an amateur/family naturopath!
Physio orders me to fill two buckets up, one with ice and water: one with just-about-bearable hot water. The advice is to start with the hot, submerge for 2-3 minutes then switch to cold – do this for 30 minutes! This is the next stage after reducing the initial swelling from the inflamed tendons by icing and rest. This process is quite unpleasant, not the hot, that is quite soothing after the initial shock the skin. The ice bucket hurts to the point where I actually felt a bit sick. The pain from the cold shot straight through the fracture site on my 5th metatarsal (broken May 2011). It is a deep, stomach-wrenching pain that is difficult to get through, so I added some more cold water, which helped immeasurably. If I didn’t have a healed fracture, I would’ve been able to get through the shock of the ice water.
Anyway, 30 minutes of this hot and cold madness worked a treat on the swelling, which is pretty much gone. There is still a tightness in the achilles and even though I begged, expert physio says “NO MORE RUNNING UNTIL 22nd APRIL”. I’m about to go for a long cycle then do some swimming this afternoon, although swimming tires me more than a 16 mile run!
Hopefully sharing these experiences with healing achilles injuries will help people who don’t have access to expert medical care, be it through lack of time for appointments or the not-so-simple matter of money.
Prior to getting to the stage of hot-cold buckets I rested for 2 weeks and iced intermittently. I was advised to take diclofenac or ibuprofen for 3 days but I am very anti-analgesia unless it is something like a toothache or a searing sore throat, even then, I’d probably go for a Weleda anthroscopic medicinal gargle! I have been a little slack in my own self-treatment but have considerably increased the amount of ginger in my diet as it is a wonderful, natural anti-inflammatory. I have also been tapping into the power of positive-meditative thinking on the power of good health and healing with a focus on my injury. Whether there is a psycho-sematic effect or not, it feels amazing to wish yourself well!
Not long until my first marathon now, I was on target for a 03:45 with the training, that won’t happen with all of the injury. Now it is all about getting past the finish line, enjoying a wonderful recovery, then thundering on for a fastest 10km time and maybe a half-marathon before the end of the year.