Achilles Tendons

Hi All, does anyone else get problems with pain in the Achilles' tendons, I was diagnosed with Pmr last October then in November I started with a flare up in my right Achilles' tendon. I have had these flares on and off over the years and they usually clear up with rest and Ibuprofen. But this time the pain is as strong now as it was when it started, and now over the past 2 months my left tendon has decided to join in. I am in a lot of discomfort and need to use a stick when walking. My Rheumy said it can take a long time to heal up. Is there a connection to Pmr? I'm not sure, I am longing to go for walks in the country despite the pain, now the nice weather is here, but I am afraid of doing permanent damage. Blessings.

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18 Replies

  • Have you ever been on a quinolone antibiotic? Taking them (even a history) and corticosteroids, especially methyl prednisolone, can lead to inflammation in the achilles tendons. I had the pleasure 4 years ago - on crutches for nearly 9 months!

  • Hi PMRpro, no I've never had quinolone antibiotic, I tried going for a walk with two walking sticks, but I kept getting tangled up in them, I can't imagine being on crutches for 9 months, it must have been an awful strain on your hands and shoulders.

  • Personally I think crutches are easier than walking sticks - you can just rest your hands on the hand bits and don't have to hold them so firmly. Still an added pain in the anatomy though!

  • Really hope it doesn't come to crutches tho, I live up four flights of stairs, no lift😖

  • Dear god - no wonder you're struggling! I thank my stars every day for the availability of our lift - law for any new buildings over 3 stories here for a long time now.

    Though actually - the crutches were quite good for going upstairs in concert with the hand rail.

  • Ours is a 1980's conversion, pity the pmr started the week we moved in, it's worth it for the lovely views over Cumbria, but I'm often tempted to consider tobogganing down on a wooden tray, lol. Thank God for a wicked sense of humour, it's my survival tactic.

  • I sympathise. Though I have only one flight -of thirteen stairs- on a bad day I go up on all fours, undignified but as mine is a private staircase no one else can see me. I don't know whether this is feasible for you but local Occupational Therapy Dept arranged for me to have second hand rail fitted which helps enormously.

  • Hi Maria we are in a building with 3 landings and it's not private, I manage to pull myself up using the railings, I am getting plenty of excercise in a slow strange kind

  • Of way

  • Yes, I know that feeling, when I sometimes haul myself up on my double hand rails and when I drag my shopping trolley up the stairs, hoping that at least it's keeping my arms strong!

  • Pred does seem to weaken the tendons which become inflamed. I did gentle exercise with mine before getting out of bed - stretch and flex, with increasing number of repetitions. They improved enormously. I also damaged a shoulder tendon and had a cortisone injection for it. This was 2.5 years ago and it's still in pretty good shape although I am wary of heavy lifting.

  • Hi Annodomini, I do try to flex my feet a few times a day, I also use ice and tape up my ankles with that sport injury tape. Nothing seems to relieve it at the moment, this is the longest episode I've had, and never in both ankles at once, I suppose it is just another one of those nasty surprises connected to,Pmr and Pred, will just have to ride it out, or rather in my case crawl it out lol😕.

  • I thought ice was for the acute initial injury, and after that heat was the preferred treatment?

  • I suspect it depends on the problem - injury and inflammation of achilles tendons are different in that sense, warmth could increase the inflammation couldn't it?

  • Ice has always worked for me, it's the only thing that ever gives me relief when my long term back injury flares up.,Heat doesn't do anything for it. I know the Physios won't agree, but I just use trial and error till I get relief from any of my on off pains over the years.

  • Another example of how we are all different. I know in the past I've been told to use ice for various things, and it's turned out that the problem ache or pain might even have been caused by being cold, so obviously I was better off using heat.... Cold works for treating a migraine, or a swollen joint, etc. I think I've basically "cured" my sciatica by (among other strategies) lying on a very hot hot water bottle!

  • Hello Pebble-Sue55....I had problems with my Achilles tendons about 2 years into PMR and prednisone. Just like you one flared & then both. I had previous trouble with my left Achilles but never the right until this flare. The Rheumatologist would not say if it was connected to PMR or prednisone. It lasted for months (sorry to tell you that), could not go on my usual hikes or walks. I did ice them and also had to wear shoes that did not touch them at all. I cut the backs in my walking/jogging shoes down to below the Achilles (mine had developed bumps on them) the pain finally subsided.

    Best Wishes to you....Merk

  • Thank you for that Merk, I have a nasty feeling this is going to take some time as the right heel has been in pain for six months already and now the left one has started, I love walking in the country, but that is not possible right now, I always feel that I am making things worse when I walk even if it's only a short distance. I often look after my Grandaughter and hobbling round the park with her is so uncomfortable. Anyway, enough of the grumbling, that doesn't help does it? Patience is a Virtue! or so they say. Thanks to everyone on this forum for all your support, I do appreciate it so much lol

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