What is Achilles Tendinopathy and how can it occur?
Achilles tendinopathy refers to pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. This tendon is a band of tissue that connects your gastrocnemius and soleus (calf muscles) to the calcaneus (heel). Achilles tendon injuries are commonly seen in all competitive sports due to the plethora of activities that can cause irritation including running, jumping, pivoting, new training programs, increased intensity/duration of programs, poor conditioning, new/unmanaged training surfaces, and new/old footwear. It can also be related to a limited range of motion in the knee, (tibiotalar) ankle, or (tibiocalcaneal) subtalar joints.
Typical mechanisms for acute Achilles tendon injuries have been related to sudden/unexpected dorsiflexion (toes to the nose) or extreme dorsiflexion from a position of full plantarflexion (toes away from nose). However, often it is a combination of multiple factors that cause a series of microtears in the tendon which over time will cause the most pain and discomfort when participating in athletic events. Tune in to future videos to learn how to stretch and implement certain exercises into your training program to prevent & combat these injuries.
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