Overview of Achilles Tendonitis

Definition of Achilles Tendonitis

Medical (Symptom) Definition: "Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the achilles tendon."

Achilles tendon = a strong tendon at the back of the heel that connects the posterior calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone.

Itis = inflammation (pain)

Physiological (Cause) Definition:

Achilles tendonitis is a repetitive strain injury involving lower leg muscles and tendons and their point of attachment to bones. It is typically characterized by tight gastrocnemius and soleus (posterior) muscles/tendons and typically weak tibialis anterior and extensor hallucis and digitorum longus (anterior) muscles/tendons.

Foot Trainer Exercises address the cause by relaxing tight posterior lower leg muscles and strengthening weak anterior lower leg muscles.

Contributing Factors

To end achilles tendonitis you must address the cause and your contributing factors. The following are some of the common contributing factors.

Ignoring the pain

Trying to run through the injury is a common mistake. If your achilles tendon is sore it is important to stop running until it is gone.

Training errors

Sudden increases in training and excessive hill running.

Improper Footwear

Shoes that have a sole that is too stiff cause increased tension and make the posterior calf muscles work harder to lift your heel off the ground.

Shoes with excessive heel cushioning may strain the achilles tendon because your heel continues to sink lower while the shoe is absorbing the shock.

Constant and over use

The achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body and must absorb the force of your body weight every time you stand, walk or run. Your calf muscles are among the most constantly used muscles in your body. When they become injured it is difficult to rest them properly. Stronger more flexible muscles can help handle constant and over use.

Age

The natural aging process (sarcopenia) that leads to a gradual loss of muscle mass throughout your body starts at age 30. By age 50 the average person will lose 30% of their muscle mass and 10 % every decade thereafter. It is not surprising that achilles tendonitis is most common in people over 30. You can't stop the aging process however you can slow it down by improving your muscles.

Neglect

"Use them or lose them " may be a cliché but it is true. Foot and leg extensor muscles are probably the most neglected muscles in our bodies because we take them for granted and many of the traditional exercises ignore them. Foot Trainer Exercises allow you the ability to perform safe, complete and effective exercises that target typically neglected extensor muscles.

Weight

Extra body weight translates into extra stress on your foot and leg muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Stronger foot and leg muscles will handle extra body weight more effectively.

Biomechanical imbalances

Any biomechanical misalignment from your toes to your lower back could cause strain on your feet. Foot Trainer exercises are designed to help improve biomechanics.

Dehydration

The human body is roughly 75% water and acts as a lubricant permitting bones and connective tissues slide against each other. If your body is dehydrated, your muscles, tendons and ligaments will be too. Proper hydration requires 6-8 glasses of spring water per day. For every cup of coffee, soft drink or alcoholic beverage, add 2 additional glasses of spring water.

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