Running is an excellent way to get fit! However, sometimes when we start a new program we can feel little niggles beginning to arise. Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury among runners, especially those who are increasing their training load.
What is the achilles?
The achilles tendon is the biggest and strongest tendon in the body located in the back of the lower leg. The tendon has the capacity to resist large forces. It stems from the calf muscles (the gastrocnemius and soleus) and inserts into the heel of our foot (the calcaneus).
What is Achilles Tendinopathy?
A tendinopathy is a disorder which can happen when there is disrepair and disorganisation within the tendon structure. This can happen when there is excessive load placed on the structure, for example if someone starts running and increases their mileage too quickly.
The effects of overuse, poor circulation, lack of flexibility, gender, and hormonal factors can lead to tendinopathies. The structure of the tendon is disturbed by repetitive strain, causing inflammation. This cumulative microtrauma weakens the tendon, which ultimately leads to tendinopathy, especially if recovery is not allowed.
The shoulder is the the most unstable joint in the body and comprises by 3 main parts the glenoid, the humerus and the scapula (shoulder blade). The shoulder joint is stabilised by several structures; ligaments, capsule and the tendons of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles, SUPRAPINATUS, INFRASPINATUS, TERES MINOR and SUBSCAPULARIS. These muscles work together to rotate the arm inwards and outwards and also work to take the arm away from the body to the side. These muscles can be injured in several ways with repetitive movements, trauma, muscular imbalance or adaptive postures.
In anatomy, the scapula (plural scapulae or scapulas)
You’re sprinting up the pitch, defender to your left, goal in sight. Making a split second decision to get past your marker, your foot is planted on the ground and you twist suddenly to make your break. Suddenly you hear a “pop” followed by intense pain in your knee. You crumple to the ground, unable to put weight through the leg and the team physiotherapist runs on to you. She moves your knee around, the pain is worsening and says she suspects it could be an ACL tear. So now what? What is your ACL? Why did you get this injury? And most importantly, will you ever get back on the pitch again?