Achilles Tendon Injuries
The Achilles Tendon is a powerful tendon which attaches from the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). Injury of the Achilles Tendon is complex as researched have yet to fully understand the mechanism of injury. In the past it was thought that Achilles Tendinopathy was inflammation of the Achilles Tendon with the formation of microtears. However, researchers have since questioned this theory and have highlighted the relevance of nerve function when discussing Achilles Tendon Injuries.
The Achilles Tendon serves to provide energy to the musculoskeletal system when walking, running and playing sport. In particular, the Achilles Tendon provides vast amounts of energy when running and is considered to be one of two very important muscles used for running.
Poor foot posture, pelvic and core strength and stability can have a detrimental affect on the Achilles Tendon.
Excess foot pronation (flat feet, pes cavus) or foot supination (high arch, pes cavus) have been suggested by researches to produce a ‘whipping effect’ on the Achilles Tendon which creates an increase in the strain on the Achilles tendon, thus leading to injury.
In addition, the excess foot pronation (flat feet, pes planus) or foot supination (pes cavus or high arch) may prevent the Achilles Tendon from absorbing as ‘energy’ when walking or running, therefore predisposing the tendon to injury.
The Orthotist or Podiatrist may prescribe foot orthotics, a course of foot mobilisation treatment or refer the patient to physiotherapy to improve their pelvic/core stability.