This past weekend I found the following posting at http://www.ultrunr.com/achilles.html regarding an "eccentric stretching" treatment for Achilles Tendinosis (AT) which I’ve been successfully doing since. The described stretch has proven extremely helpful via providing immediate relief.
Excerpt from referenced posting:
For those suffering from AT (as I do), be advised that there has been a major development in treatment. (See disclaimers below.*)
In a recent issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine (vol. 26 no. 3, pgs. 360 - 366), clinicians at the University Hospital of Northern Sweden reported their study of "Heavy-load eccentric calf muscle training for the treatment of chronic Achilles tendonitis." I urge you to get it via MedLine or from a medical library if you possibly can.
A series of 15 middle-aged recreational runners were treated with an amazingly simple method: stand on a step or ledge on the balls of your feet. Rise up on your GOOD leg, transfer your weight to the AFFECTED leg with ankle fully flexed downward (plantar flexion), and descend all the way down (to maximum dorsiflexion). Repeat 15 times (one set), and do 3 such sets twice a day. Also do these sets beginning with the knee of the affected leg partially bent, rather than extended (straight); this works the soleus muscle. Later on you can add weight, in the form of a backpack or weight machine on the shoulders, to increase the strengthening effect.
All 15 participants in this study had excellent results. I have had Achilles tendonitis for many years, worse this year since I increased my running mileage. But since I began doing these exercises I have had a marked reduction in pain and morning stiffness, and have even noted some increase in speed on training runs.
It's exciting to find good science -- a controlled, prospective study by reputable people -- that really works, and costs nothing!