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Signs Of An Achilles Tendon Injury

By Brad Walker
Flexibility Expert
Updated: November 15, 2008
Every week I get asked for information on Achilles tendon injury. So instead of constantly referring people to other sites for specific stretching, prevention and treatment, I thought it was time to write an article on Achilles tendon injury myself.

Achilles injuries are commonly associated with sports that require a lot of running, jumping and change of direction. Excessive twisting or turning of the ankle and foot can result in a rupture or strain. The sports that are most susceptible to Achilles injury include running, walking, cycling, football, basketball and tennis.

What is The Achilles Tendon?

Let's take a look at where the Achilles tendon is located and what it does.

The Achilles tendon is located at the rear (posterior) of the bottom half of the lower leg. The tendon is a thick band of connective fiber that runs from bottom of the Gastrocnemius (calf) muscle to the heel bone.

The Achilles tendon points the foot downward, or in more technical terms, plantar flexes the foot. This allows you to run, jump and stand on your toes.
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The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon of the body, and able to withstand a 1000 pound force without tearing. Despite this, the Achilles ruptures more frequently than any other tendon because of the tremendous pressures placed on it during competitive sports.

Types Of Injuries

Two main types of injuries affect the Achilles tendon; Achilles Tendonitis and Achilles Tendon Rupture.

· Achilles Tendonitis is simply an inflammation of the tendon, and in most cases caused by excessive training over an extended period.

· Achilles Tendon Rupture, on the other hand, is a tear (or complete snapping) of the tendon, and usually occurs as the result of a sudden or unexpected force. In the case of a complete rupture, the only treatment available is to place the lower leg in a plaster cast for 6 to 8 weeks, or surgery. As both of these treatments are beyond the scope of this newsletter, we'll be focusing the rest of this article on Achilles Tendonitis.

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