by Rahul Kapur
If anyone knows about achilles tendonitis, it is me. I was running of stretch of 1/2 marathons and was having achilles pain but was trying to ignore it. If I had followed this protocol at that time, I would not be suffering from chronic tendonitis now. Let's dive into the anatomy and treatment of this injury.
The Achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in our body. It is located in the posterior aspect of the lower leg and attached to the posterior calf. The Achilles tendon is formed by two muscles, gastrocnemius and soleus, joining together. This allows the Achilles tendon to withstand high loads of tensile strength during activities such as running, walking, and jumping. This is also partly due to the kind of fibers that the Achilles tendon is composed of. It consists of Type II fast twitch fibers and Type I collagen and elastin. The collagen is responsible for the strength of the tendon. Because these fibers form a spiraling pattern it allows for more stress and increased movement.
Although this tendon is the strongest in the body, it is easily prone to injury or rupture. This is often due to common overuse injury in individuals who run or participate in jumping sports. The repetitive microtrauma causes the two muscles that compose the Achilles tendon to be under extra stress and strain, which can cause inflammation and degeneration of the tendon. This is called Achilles tendinopathy or Achilles tendonitis. Other factors that may play a role in Achilles tendonitis are poor nutrition leading to excess body inflammation, poor blood supply, increase or starting a new offending activity.
So, what does Achilles tendonitis feel like? Most will have pain along their Achilles tendon. It is usually exacerbated by movement. The pain is usually in the back of the ankle just above the heel. The stiffness and soreness are typically worse in the morning and it is difficult to stand on your toes. Often times, Achilles tendonitis is misdiagnosed for an ankle sprain.
So now what? Unfortunately, improper treatment of this tendonitis can lead to a rupture that may need surgical intervention. It is best to avoid aggravating activities and allow for a period of rest. Here are some other therapies you can you do to help with your recovery process:
What can you do help avoid getting or having it reoccur?
by Rahul Kapur