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Achilles Tendonitis


The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that stretches from the back of the heel bone to the back of the leg, merging into the gastrocnemius muscle (the calf muscles). This tendon functions to plantarflex the foot and point your toes to the floor. It also facilitates walking by raising the heel off the ground.

 

In Singapore, Achilles Tendonitis affects both professional athletes as well as non-athletes requiring treatment. Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendon normally caused by:

 

  • Overuse – wearing out of the tendon can be due to too much activity or simply due to age. As age and usage increases, the elasticity of the tendon diminishes.
  • Lack of stretching – when this tendon is too tight, patients are prone to over-exerting and straining the tendon. With each step taken, the tendon pulls itself over the heel bone.

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  • Muscular imbalances – weakness in particular muscle groups of the lower limb can cause a compensatory mechanism in other soft tissues, forcing other muscles, tendons or ligaments to function incorrectly.
  • A sudden increase in level of physical activity – if muscle endurance is not gradually built, your body and its soft tissues are not adapted to withstanding an intensification in activity.
  • Ill-fitting footwear – shoes which are inappropriate for the person’s lower extremity biomechanics can increase the tension within the Achilles tendon, causing too much stress to the tissue.
  • Foot mechanics – problems relating to foot posture such as pronation, inversion, navicular drop and more can cause strain to many of the soft tissue structures in the foot, including the Achilles tendon.

If patients continue living with micro trauma or tightness in their calves, they are more prone to developing a ruptured tendon. Severely damaged or ruptured tendons will inhibit one’s ability to walk. The cure for Achilles tendinitis is difficult and often requires a lower limb specialist team of podiatry, physiotherapy, and orthopedics. If it does not heal with the use of conservative methods, surgery would then be required.

 

 

 

 

 

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