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Achiles not healing


Submitted By: andrewpenwarden


i was hoping for some advice on my achilles tendon. about mid 2013 i was living in australia and had a problem with dermatitus on my hands (used to be a chef). nothing the doctor(western) gave to me seemed to be helping and the chinese doc i was seeing prior to this was making a diagnosis of a weak spleen (got gui pi wan for this) and some herbs to soak my hands which helped a bit.

once in australia i searched for a chinese doc and they took one look at me (tongue pulse etc) and said i had liver qi stagnation combined with dampness in lower jao. They gave me 3 week course of xiao yao wan, shen ling bai zhu san, (i cant remember what these ones do) and shiduqing (for dampness?) which cleared up a dermititus which had been there for 4-5 years.

the reason i mention this as you could imagine is - i have been having achiles tendon problems for 8 months or so now, it was severely irritated from joining the NZ army and doing their 4 month basic training course from which i emerged fairly exhausted (chronic lack of sleep, stress environment like constant punishment exercises etc, and bad quality food - high sugar/gi carbs too.

have been back into regular life since december 2013 now and trying to eat good whole foods. have gained back 8kg of tissue loss through gentle training and nutrition, but i still have a niggly achilles, i dont sleep very well at nights go to sleep at 2100-2200 and wake at 0545 having very restless sleep i have been told (constantly waking between 0230-0430 ifd that relates to organs?) so looking at getting a decent matress as ours is an old crusty relic! also, i have noticed heart palpitations from time to time and some strange liver 'stabby pains' very infrequently (like once in 3 weeksish).

i have been massaging tendon with red flower oil a few times per week and going for gentlr jogs to test it once or twice a fortnight (this is after 6-8 weeks avoiding running and jumping) - its fine to walk on, but any high impact stuff will irritate it quickly. the other week it was feeling almost back to normal but after a 2km jog last night it is all of a sudden decided to revert!!!

any help would be amazing as my current doc cant seem to see any liver issues - i thought it could still be the liver because that controls the tendons right?


It&#39s a common misconception to too closely associate the liver "system" with the physical liver - there is some but often no relevant relation between the two in Chinese terms (see "My Liver is What?" for more info). In more direct words if I run a marathon with no training and tear my achilles it is not necessarily (or at all) because I have any kind of liver weakness - it&#39s because I tore my achilles.

Now that said, there is an enormous of tension on the achilles and tears can be difficult to heal. Particularly if you don&#39t rest it. It can easily take 12-15 weeks or more to heal. So unless you absolutely need to I wouldn&#39t be testing it consistently. Just give it a full break - walking is fine, cycling may be fine, running and jumping is not.

And you don&#39t mention whether or not you are currently doing acupuncture with a fully trained and licensed acupuncturist (not an md, pt, etc. doing "acupuncture") - if you are not I would. Treating the problem far higher up in the back, leg and calf will lead to better results along with dealing with some of the deeper issues related to the liver system.


Thanks Chad, i have had sporadic one off treatments from a qualified chinese doctor, but i think i will go for a series of treatments now that i am settled in one location. as for staying off it, i think i will have to manage that one due to our general workload. just a quick question though (probably one to ask my doc), would this be related to my trouble sleeping?

thanks again



It could be, but again even though Chinese Medicine theory dictates a connection you can have little relationship in clinical reality. Generally sleep problems are related to yin and/or blood deficiency or just simple liver qi stagnation. Yin and/or blood deficiencies in pure theory may lead to weaker (less nourished) muscles and/or tendons. So there is a relationship but only in the ultimate sense. Your practitioner should be able to give you a clear diagnosis of your issues, explain how they inter-relate and where they don&#39t, and hopefully get these issues sorted out in fairly short order.

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