A tendon, also called a sinew, is a strong white cord that attaches muscles to bones, and we have them all over our body. The Achilles Tendon is the tendon present at the back of the ankle. It connects the muscles of the calf to the heel bone and is among the strongest tendons in the body. The name Achilles tendon comes from the legend of Achilles, a Greek hero killed by an arrow in the heel.
The Achilles tendon may rupture as the result of a powerful upward movement of the foot or a blow to the calf when the calf muscles are contracted. This injury most commonly occurs in people over the age of thirty who compete in sports that involve running. A complete rupture is often accompanied by a snap, severe pain and the inability to push off or stand on the toes. As soon as possible, ice should be applied to the back of the ankle, and the leg should be raised and immobilized. Surgery may be needed to sew the tendon together. The person should keep their weight off the injured leg for up to two months before Progressing to gradual stretching and strengthening exercises.

Fact File

THIRTY-FIVE POWERFUL MUSCLES MOVE THE HUMAN HAND. AMONG THEM FIFTEEN ARE IN THE FOREARM RATHER THAN IN THE HAND ITSELF. THIS ARRANGEMENT GIVES GREAT STRENGTH TO HAND WITHOUT MAKING THE FINGERS SO THICK WITH MUSCLES THAT THEY WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO MOVE.

Functions of Achilles Tendon

It is the body’s most powerful tendon. It is a fibrous tissue which connects the lower end of calf muscles to the heel. After the calf muscles are flexed, they pull up the heels with the assistance of Achilles Tendon shoving the foot back and working as a pulley. This tendon is an extension of soleus, gastrocnemius the terminal expansion of the three posterior muscles at the leg that is lower, and plantaris.
Achilles Tendon is responsible for transferring and balancing the body’s weight on heels. Although the heel is a strong structure and is capable enough to bear all of the body’s weight, in spite of the Achilles Tendon being only a fibrous tissue does an equally effective job. It provides a pulling mechanism that gives strength of approximately 3-12 times each person’s body weight. Standing on tip feet is a very good demonstration of this muscle’s invincible strength.
It is also called calcaneal the tendon. The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles or the calf muscles join together in a single band of tissue, which becomes the Achilles tendon at the end of the calf. It then inserts into the calcaneus. Little sacs of fluid called bursae cushion these tendons.
It is the largest and most powerful tendon in the body. The Achilles tendon pulls on the heels after the calf muscles are bend. This makes it possible for us to stand on our feet when walking, running, or jumping. It is vulnerable owing to the limited blood supply and the high pressures placed on it.

Injuries of Achilles Tendon

When an enormous force is constantly applied to this tendon during standing and walking, chronic stress and strain may eventually cause tissue within this spot that weaken it. Following are some causes which may lead to injuries in Achilles Tendon:

  • Misalignment.
  • Abnormal posture or weight-bearing.
  • Low arched foot.
  • Overuse.
  • Rough physical sports activities.
  • Improper footwear.
  • Accidents and injuries.
  • Uneven leg lengths.

Inflammation of this tendon can occur either in the back of the tendon in the attachment to the bone or a couple of inches over the posterior attachment of the tendon.

  1. Achilles tendon tear

    It can be a microtear, or big, causing pain, swelling, and impaired movement. They may occur during some activity or overtime.

  2. Achilles tendon rupture

    This is a complete rupture of the tendon and can make a “pop” sound, followed by pain and swelling of the lower leg. Treatment requires surgery or long-term immobilization of the ankle.

  3. Achilles tendinitis

    Regular activity can gradually inflame the Achilles tendon, causing pain and stiffness in the heels.

  4. Achilles peritendonitis

    Much like Achilles tendonitis, but inflammation and pain occur in the tissue surrounding tendon above the heel.

  5. Achilles tendinosis

    It is the thickening of the tendon without apparent inflammation. It happens with ageing or overuse. This makes the tendon susceptible to rupture or further injury.

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