Achilles tendon complaints are one of the most common injuries in runners. They are also common in other sports that require a lot of jumping. Once the Achilles tendon complaints are there, the best contact can be sought with a physical therapist. But prevention is of course better than cure; so how can you prevent achilles tendon complaints?
In this article I will try to answer this question. First I will explain the anatomy of the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles, then risk factors are mentioned for the development of complaints and finally preventive measures are mentioned.
Anatomy of the Achilles tendon
First, it is important to know something about the anatomy of the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles. There are two calf muscles, namely:
m. Soleus and
The Gastrocnemius m is the largest and is best visible on the outside; it is the two “bumps” that arise when the calf muscles are tightened. The function of the Gastrocnemius m is to bend the knee and stretch the ankle. The m. Soleus lies below the m. Gastrocnemius and is therefore more difficult to see on the outside. The function of the m. Soleus is only to stretch the ankle. The two calf muscles come together in the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is then stuck on the heel bone. Most complaints occur just above the adhesion of the Achilles tendon on the heel bone. Sometimes even a thickening is visible.
There are various risk factors for achilles tendon complaints, namely
Stiffness of the Achilles tendon.
Being less able to lift the forefoot, or a reduced dorsal flexion of the ankle.
Decreased strength of the calf muscles.
Changing training form. For example, changing from endurance training to interval training or changing from walking on a soft to a hard surface.
Now that we know what the risk factors are for getting achilles tendon complaints, it is good to know what you can do about it yourself. Most people keep their knees stretched while calf muscles are stretched, but with this variant, the Gastrocnemius m is mainly used. stretched and to a lesser extent the m. Soleus. It is therefore important to use two variants when stretching the calf muscles, one with the knee extended and one with the knee bent. The easiest way to stretch the calf muscles is to stand in a staggered position with the hands against a wall and then bring the hips forward, which will tension the calf muscles of the hind leg.
Optionally, the dorsal flexion (movement from the knee to the ankle) of the ankle can be increased by means of a mobilizing exercise with a circular elastic band (see the image ). Hereby the elastic band is placed just above the ankle and the other end of the thera band is placed around, for example, a table leg. Subsequently, the thera band is brought under tension by taking a step forward and a lunge is made in which the knee can get past the toes.
The easiest exercise to increase the strength of the calf muscles is the calf raise. These can be done very easily at home by standing on the bottom step of the stairs with the forefoot and then lowering the heel. To properly train both calf muscles, the knee can also be both extended and bent.
Stretching Exercise 1
Stretching Exercise 2
To strengthen the calf muscles, it is best to use an eccentric training form because the greatest force is generated in the muscle.
To minimize the chance of achilles tendon complaints when changing training forms, it is important to start with the new training form at a low intensity (light weight with more repetitions).
In short, the risk of achilles tendon complaints can be reduced in various ways. Nevertheless, the complaints can still arise. In the event of complaints, contact a specialist at the earliest possible stage. The sooner the complaints are treated, the sooner the complaints decrease.
By S.van der Tap.Internet Marketer Founder Of digitalstico.com