Sports for Achilles tendonitis | Achilles tendonitis

Sports for Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon inflammation is often noticeable during sporting activities. This disease is particularly common among runners. It becomes noticeable by pulling pain in the affected Achilles tendon, and the affected tendon may also be overheated or swollen.

In most cases the pain occurs at the beginning of the strain and gets better during the sport. However, the pain may also occur at rest only after the strain. If such complaints occur, the sporting activity should be paused so that the inflammation can heal and not get worse.

If sport is continued with an existing Achilles tendon inflammation, the complaints can become chronic, then treatment is much more difficult and protracted. It is also important in this context that the athlete is sensitised after an inflammation has occurred and warms up carefully before his training sessions, as this can prevent a renewed Achilles tendonitis. Regular stretching of the calf muscles is also important, as shortened calf muscles put additional strain on the Achilles tendon.

Once the Achilles tendon inflammation has healed after treatment, the tendon should continue to be protected for some time and not be subjected to high loads. Running sports and activities that exert a high force on the Achilles tendon should be avoided during this time. However, less strenuous sports such as cycling are possible.

What are the prospects?

If an Achilles tendon inflammation occurs for the first time and is treated quickly, the injury usually heals without consequential damage. It is particularly important to allow sufficient time for the Achilles tendon to heal before putting it under full strain again, as otherwise you run the risk of developing chronic Achilles tendonitis. If patients ignore the first signs of Achilles tendonitis or do not allow enough time for it to heal, the inflammation can become chronic and is therefore very difficult to treat. Unfortunately, it is not possible to give a concrete duration of how long an Achilles tendonitis takes to heal.

Anatomy of an Achilles tendon

The Achilles tendon connects the heel (calcaneus) with the calf muscles (Musculus Gastrocnemius and Musculus Soleus), more precisely with their aponeuroses. The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces up to 12 times the body weight. It stabilizes the foot on the leg and especially initiates the repulsion movement when running and running.

Histology of the injury

Seen under the microscope, the injured Achilles tendon has advanced degenerations and changes in the arrangement of collagen fibres. These microscopic changes are called tendinosis. Sometimes, however, these microscopic changes can be found when there are no symptoms at all.

The microscopic lesions are most often found 2-6 centimetres from the site of attachment of the Achilles tendon on the heel, as this area is particularly poorly supplied with blood. Current research shows, however, that tendinosis, i.e. degeneration of the Achilles tendon in this area, leads to an ingrowth of new blood vessels and nerves. The new nerves lead to pain, but the blood vessels lead to a faster healing of the injury.