According to Greek mythology, Achilles could only be hurt in his heel. Because of Achilles' ability to run fast and surpass all people, the tendon connecting the heel to the calf muscles was called the Achilles tendon.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand a force of 1 ton or more. However, the Achilles tendon also ruptures very frequently, and professional athletes and weekend runners often suffer from overuse of the tendon; They suffer from Achilles tendinitis as a result of inflammation and damage to the tendon.
Any of the following events may trigger an Achilles tendinitis attack:
- A sudden increase in your running speed or distance traveled,
- Adding hill running or climbing stairs to your routine,
- Activating too quickly after rest,
- As in the final of a sprint race, putting an extra effort on the foot, causing the calf muscle to weaken. Trauma that causes sudden or harsh contraction,
- Due to the lack of natural flexibility in the calf muscle, conditions that occur as a result of overuse of the muscle.
Achilles tendinitis is most commonly caused by Common symptoms:
- Moderate, gradually worsening pain after exercise and running,
- Noticeable loss of sensation in your leg,
- A few hours after running, Episodes of pain, sometimes severe, diffuse or localized along the tendon,
- Morning tenderness at the point an inch and a half above where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone,
- A general decrease in stiffness as the tendon warms up with use of the muscle. ,
- Some swelling.
Since similar symptoms are present in cases such as partial tendon rupture and heel bursitis, you should see an orthopedic surgeon for a correct diagnosis.
Treatment Although it depends on the degree of tendon damage, it often includes the following:
- Complete rest, meaning completely stopping exercise and running for a week, or switching exercises to simple exercises that do not strain the Achilles tendon, such as swimming,
- Steroid-free anti-inflammatory treatment,
- Orthoses such as heel supports or insoles that help support the muscle and relieve tension on the tendon,
- A specially designed bandage that restricts tendon movement,
- Stretching, massage, ultrasound and appropriate exercises to lengthen the weak muscle group in the front of the foot and the ascending foot flexors (flexor muscles).
Surgery is often the last choice. If there is friction between the tendon and the sheath covering it; The layer thickens and forms fibrous tissue. Removing fibrous tissue and repairing any tears may be the best treatment option. In Achilles Tendinitis, recovery is slow; A temporary cast may be applied and a rehabilitation program may be required to avoid muscle weakening.
- You may not be able to prevent Achilles tendinitis. However, there are six precautions that reduce your risk of having an attack:
- Choose your running shoes carefully. Shoes should provide adequate support without hitting your heel. Wearing a recommended orthotic, which aligns your heel bone with a slight change in position, may also help. Maybe the best precaution; Knowing your limits and following a precise program when exercising.
- Before running, walk and stretch to allow the tendon to gradually warm up again. Spending a few minutes warming up is better than spending months healing a ruptured Achilles tendon. (child)
- Focus on stretching and strengthening your calf muscles.
- Slowly increase your running distance and speed. Increases should not be more than 10%.
- Avoid strenuous, low-impact competitions such as hill runs and similar
- Rest properly after exercise.