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)
Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear, is a condition in which the natural cushioning between joints, the cartilage, becomes worn. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing results in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased mobility and, sometimes, the formation of bone spurs.
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.
More and more of us nowadays are braving the Dublin roads and donning our cycling gear as a way of commuting as well as a recreational activity. In this month’s blog we want to look at some Do’s and Don’ts of cycling.