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Achilles Pain & Rugby

 

Overview of the Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon is located just above the heel and is the continuation of the calf muscle (Gastrocnemius and Soleus). It forms the lower part of the calf and attaches to the back of the heel. It is one of the strongest and largest of the tendons in the human body since it can actually support individuals’ full body weight and more.

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles Tendonitis is characterized by pain in the Achilles tendon which radiates to the lower calf and heel. It is a common medical condition among rugby players and can especially affect players that are playing as "backs" as they sprint forward during phases of play. Since the tendon is used frequently resulting in wear and tear. The tendon experiences degeneration which is also called Tendonitis.

Achilles Tendonitis is one of the primary manifestations of Achilles Tendinopathy where in small lesions inside the tendon are present but the tissues are not inflamed. If the tissues are inflamed, the condition is known as Tendonitis.

The lesions reduce overall strength and stability of the Achilles tendon and chances are that it could rupture with more activity. Tendonitis is more common among athletes such as rugby players.

The usual symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain which becomes more severe during physical activity. The area may also be sensitive to touch and feels stiff after lying down for a long period. The affected tendon can also appear larger compared to the other unaffected one.

Treatment

For pain and swelling, ice packs and Achilles straps help a lot in controlling inflammation. A medical doctor and physical therapist will provide in full detail the medications that should be taken, strengthening and rehabilitative exercises that should be done as well as the surgery that should be performed when all other means do not work as well.

Painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs can be used. If rehabilitative exercises and activity do not produce satisfying results, surgery may be necessary to remove the degenerated areas of the tendon and restore the tendon to optimum tensile strength. It takes about three to six months before the individual can resume rugby after surgery.

Prevention Tips

Rugby puts a toll on the Achilles tendon and should be monitored and controlled in order to ensure that the Achilles tendon injury has fully recovered before the next session. Stretching and strengthening exercises are crucial to keep the tendon stabilized and strong. There are several Achilles tendon stretches you could do.

CALF STRETCH


Stand with your hands against a wall and your injured leg behind your other leg. With your injured leg straight, your heel flat on the floor and your foot pointed straight ahead, lean slowly forward, bending the other leg. You should feel the stretch in the middle of your calf. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat the stretch six to eight times. This stretching exercise is helpful for Achilles tendonitis.

It is a good idea to wear shock-absorbent insoles or to run on low-impact ground like grass to minimize pressure on the Achilles tendon.

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The Pro Stretch Step Stretch stretching device is recommended as a way to both treat and prevent Achilles Pain. While many people do remember to stretch both before and after exercising, many people are not stretching properly, and that’s where the Pro Stretch Step Stretch device is helpful.

View the Pro Stretch that helps you stretch the achilles tendon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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