Achilles pain or injury can prevent itself in the form of tendinopathy (i.e. tendinitis or tendinosis), or the more critical Achilles tendon tear or rupture. The Achilles tendon is the tendon to the gastroc and soleus, which together are known as the calf muscles. The role of a tendon is to transfer the force from the contracting muscle to the intended joint of movement. Together these muscles plantarflex the ankle joint, or point the foot downwards. This action creates the force needed to push the ground away and help propel the body forwards (or upwards) when we are walking, running, or jumping. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body, and the gastroc and soleus are the primary ankle plantar flexor muscles.
Tendinitis is a chronic, overuse type of injury that is common in gymnasts as they perform multiple repetitions of their routines – on the floor, beam and when sprinting toward the vault. Rhythmic gymnasts are also at risk due to performing up to four different routines on the floor with repetitive jumping, leaping and turning.
A tendon is a connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone. This tissue can be subject to injury over a person’s lifespan. Tendons are unique in that they are capable of restoring and recoiling energy as well as being readily adaptable, with the ability to respond to loading or stress. One of the more famous tendons, Achilles, connects your calf to your heel and allows for pushing off the ground with walking.
Does the aching pain in your heel have you adjusting your training program this running season?
Countless runners suffer from Achilles tendon injuries every year and these injuries can often be a limiting factor in your ability to maintain a training program, advance your mileage and meet your personal record goals. The good news is that we have therapists at Athletico trained and prepared to help you overcome this injury and get back to pounding the pavement.
Calf stretching, ice and activity modification are commonly used as treatment for those who suffer from Achilles tendinosis. However, when traditional treatment fails to relieve symptoms, the problem may be in the diagnosis.
What is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is the point of connection for primarily two muscles which make up the bulk of the calf. It is responsible for performing the motion of lifting the heel off the ground. The Achilles tendon is located just above the heel bone where it attaches. Although it can bare high loads, acute and chronic Achilles tendon pathology continues to be involved in 50 percent of all sports related injuries.5 In addition, there continues to be a rise in Achilles tendon ruptures (complete tear), of which 75 percent occur in men between the ages of 30-49 while participating in sports.5