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)
German-born Joseph Pilates invented the classical pilates method while working to rehabilitate soldiers badly injured in war. He used resistance devices attached to beds to allow bed ridden patients to exercise their muscles. He only wrote one book on his technique before he died. Since the passing of Joseph Pilates, the techniques have been modified and enhanced. The principles have been refined to reflect current understanding of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology.
Having previously talked about the importance of the gluteal (bum) muscles. Now I’m going to look at this from the aspect of cycling, during the initial phase of cycling (12-4 o’clock) the glutes were an important muscle group for generating power, and by improving one’s ability to deliberately activate these muscles and improve their strength/power, one could reduce quadriceps (thigh) fatigue and improve cycling power output and performance. Frustratingly having looked extensively over the past week for some body of QUALITY research that would back up these ideas, I have found it a fruitless task.
Through the practice of yoga, we become aware of our postural holding patterns, our weaknesses and our imbalances. Some of these things can lead to pain and injury. With awareness, we can learn how to balance the muscular and skeletal systems of the body, create strength and ﬂexibility and correct postural dysfunctions before they become troublesome.