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Is That My Achilles Heel?

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that attaches our gastrocnemius (calf), plantaris and soleus to your calcaneus (heel). It is one of the strongest tendons in the body and plays a very important role in propelling our body forward. The Achilles tendon has areas of poor blood supply and has some anatomical deficiencies, which can cause overuse injuries.

What is Achilles Tendinitis?

Achilles tendinitis is one of the most common injuries in the lower extremity. Tendinitis means inflammation of the tendon, so Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Anyone can get Achilles tendinitis, but it is most common in runners, skaters, soccer players, and basketball players. In the early stages, people complain of stiffness or mild in the back of their heel after exercise or heavy activity. As it progresses people have pain with walking, stairs and other light actives. People may have pain at rest in the late stages.

How do You get Achilles Tendinitis?

There are many causes of Achilles tendinitis, which we will go over a few here.

1. Improper or lack of warm up before exercise

2. Sudden increases in mileage, intensity, or frequency of training

3. Running on uneven or hard surfaces

4. Running hills

5. Overtraining

6. Muscle imbalance

7. Calf tightness

8. Improper footwear

9. Calf muscle injury

How do I Prevent Achilles Tendinitis?

1. Calf stretching

2. Allow for adequate rest in between workouts

3. Slowly increase the intensity of your training to allow your tendon accommodate to the increase load

4. Strengthening of your calf

5. Strength of the muscles in glut and core to allow for improved alignment during exercise to reduce the stress on your Achilles tendinitis

6. Correct footwear for you and for the activity you are doing

If you continue to have pain call us at (203) 978 – EDGE (3343) to make a physical therapy appointment.

How can physical therapy help with Achilles Tendinitis?

There are many different types of treatments your therapist will provide. They will give you exercises to improve flexibility to reduce stress on the tendon and allow not to heal. They will give you strengthening exercises as well. Your physical therapist will perform different types of manual therapy to improve blood flow to the area to improve healing, reduce tightness in your calf muscle, improve ankle mobility, flexibility and improve lower extremity alignment.


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