Pain in the back of the heels, Achilles tendonitis, is very common in runners, dancer, gymnasts and other sports involving lots of jumping and landing. It may be an overuse injury where the tendon has been stressed repetitively, leading to mircotrauma and weakness of the tendon.
This may lead to an acute inflammatory condition called, “tendonitis”. If not properly addressed or left untreated, it can become a “tendinopathy” (a chronic inflammatory condition) or may even rupture.
For a detailed explanation and anatomy of the Achilles tendon, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles_tendon for reference.
Some contributing factors include:
- Tightness and weakness of the calf muscle
- Decreased motion in the ankle or mid foot
- Decreased control of arches and small toe muscles
- Decreased core control
- Decreased pelvic stability
As always, preventing it from happening is a much more effective approach than treating it after the tendon has undergone some damage. Addressing the above factors can help decrease your risk of overloading the tendon. Next we will be discussing the contributing factors and helpful stretches