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Thread: Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

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    Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

    I have been swimming about 10 miles a week (half of my workout with soft fins - for the last 10 years). Went to foot doc today and learned I have AT (moderate), but he said NO exercise until its 75% better. No way can I NOT exercise in the summer (living in the North, we live for summer), and he included swimming. He said too much pressure on the tendon with the kicking motion. No walking, just upper body. Has anyone had AT and NOT exercised at all, esp. not swam?

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    Very Active Member habu987's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

    One of my swimmers a couple years ago had achilles tendon surgery on both legs. He would use a pull buoy and pull half of the practice, then get out. No idea if that's what his doctor said he could do, I just know he did that for several months before he was back to normal.

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    Re: Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

    Thanks, Habu. If I focus more on kicking from the hips, it may relieve the foot motion.

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    Re: Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

    That kind of injury runs the risk of becoming chronic. I dislike pull buoys, but I would refrain from swimming without one until the doc clears me. You can crank the heck out of your shoulders with no strain at all on your AT. I would hide the fins in the back of an obscure closet. (If the AT was in any way related overuse of the fins, burn them.)

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    Re: Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

    Hi Mick, I do use my fins for half my workout, but they are very soft, especially in the heel area, barely touching the heel. I really swim poorly on the pull buoy, esp. on the backstroke. I am pretty certain it's from tennis, as it happened shortly after I started playing in the Spring. OTOH, I also got new orthotics about a few months before the AT started but the doc said they would help, not cause AT. Not sure I believe that.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

    Over use of any set of muscles will cause this. 10 years of that might lead to this condition. You are not as young as you were 10 ago.
    I had to stop my running streak at 5 1/2 years because of this. I know it is against your nature but, sometimes we need to back off.

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    Very Active Member habu987's Avatar
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    Re: Can I swim with achillles tendonitis?

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Hi Mick, I do use my fins for half my workout, but they are very soft, especially in the heel area, barely touching the heel. I really swim poorly on the pull buoy, esp. on the backstroke. I am pretty certain it's from tennis, as it happened shortly after I started playing in the Spring. OTOH, I also got new orthotics about a few months before the AT started but the doc said they would help, not cause AT. Not sure I believe that.
    I would very strongly recommend that you ditch the fins. If you are going to swim while you're recovering, use a pull buoy and don't kick, and especially don't wear fins!

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