While we’re training, we constantly have certain things in mind. We know that in order to be in our best shape, we need to get a proper amount of sleep, make sure that we remain hydrated, and take special care with nutrition to get the protein and carbohydrates we need. But there are specific parts of the body that we should be focused on taking special care of. Today we’re going to talk about the Achilles tendon. Did you know that when running or doing any sort of movement which requires a push-off motion, you’re not using your quad muscle, but instead using your ankle and Achilles tendon? That’s a lot of pressure for one tendon. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just getting started with your training, it’s important not to forget the Achilles.
Anatomy of the Achilles tendon
The Achilles tendon is located at the back of your ankle above the heel and is the body’s largest tendon. The tendon itself involves three muscular groups: the gastrocnemius muscle, the soleus muscle, and the medial and lateral heads of each. The gastrocnemius muscle is located above the knee and the soleus is below the knee. This means that the way you care for your knees and calf muscles all contribute to the overall wellness of your Achilles tendon.
How do I care for the Achilles tendon?
We’ve talked before about the importance of stretching and how it relates to your training. Stretching is particularly important when it comes to your Achilles tendon. Because the Achilles is related anatomically to so many muscle groups, it is important to keep your lower body well stretched. This means your quadriceps, your calves, and your ankles. It’s also a good idea to keep your hips, abs, and quadriceps strong so that you can use your strength there to alleviate pressure you’re putting on your Achilles tendon.
How will I know if I’ve hurt my Achilles tendon?
There are a few symptoms you’ll experience if there’s a problem with your Achilles tendon. Look out for the following:
-a snapping or popping noise
-pain when rotating the ankle or foot
If I hurt my Achilles tendon, what do I do?
The first thing that’s important to do if you hurt your Achilles tendon is to stop training. Yes, we know that’s hard to hear, but in the long run, it’ll be important that you get the rest and care you need to properly heal so that you can continue training as soon as possible. Make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as you can. In the meantime, focus on anti-inflammatory measures, like icing your Achilles tendon, keeping it elevated, and using compression.
In many cases a doctor will recommend physical therapy, though there are other therapies that can be done to treat problems surrounding your Achilles tendon. One of these therapies is Electric Shock Wave Therapy, which helps to promote the formation of new blood vessels.
Have more questions?
Getting injured, no matter how major or minor the injury is, is a scary thing for an athlete. Here at Promax, we’re here for you. If you have questions about training options you can do that won’t affect an injury, feel free to reach out with questions on our Facebook or Twitter. You can also choose to contact us directly, we’d love to hear from you!