As I was sitting at my desk to finally write this oft-procrastinated post, I glanced at the street and saw a group of three runners striding uphill in the unusually warm winter morning; the thought formed almost immediately

I hate you so much.

It has been six weeks since I started physical therapy for the Achilles tendinitis, and slowly I was coming back to running: nothing major, only 3 miles (~5km) every other day plus an hour of stationary bike at the gym. It wasn’t glamorous but at least I was running and was fairly optimistic.
The PT reevaluation on Monday and the follow-up visit with the sport doctor on Tuesday were unwelcome cold showers; the PT showed some worries that after more than a month I was still feeling pain when running, and the doc added to it by contemplating the surgery option.

Winter morning in Amherst, MA


According to my doctor, the problem could a tendinosis rather than a tendinitis, and while the latter is an inflammation, the former is a chronic injury in the tendon tissue. If it is so, the options are either surgery or PRP; Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) treatment is a relatively new therapy by which platelet enriched blood is injected into the affected area to stimulate the growth of soft tissue (more at Running Times).
If I have to, I’d rather go for the PRP because it’s the non-surgical option, but I don’t have to decide any time soon; with an argument I cannot rebuke, the doc proposed me to use a walking boot for three weeks in order to shut off (his words) the ankle: if it’s an inflammation, the pain should be almost completely subdued in the three weeks time.
Parallel to this, the PT will be more proactive. On Wednesday I had the first iontophoresis treatment; it is described on wikipedia as an injection without needles and it’s really cool: an electric potential is applied to the tissue which pushes the anti-inflammatories through the skin into the tendon, it tickles a bit where the anode is applied (probably a response of the nerves to the electric field) but it’s painless and I usually end up playing Angry Birds or reading the Washington Post.

And since when it rains, it pours, I also caught a cold so I spent the last few days at home. At least, I don’t have to think that any cardio is out of the picture for the next three weeks: what am I going to do? The only option (and upside) is that this down-time will be forcing me to work on strengthening even more.

But that’s life. And life. Sucks.