Achilles tendon problems
Achilles tendon complaints can be stubborn and therapy is often protracted. With an inflamed or injured Achilles tendon, the cause needs to be treated in order to alleviate or eliminate the symptoms in the long term.
Plantar fasciitis (heel spur) is related very closely to problems with the Achilles tendon or calf musculature. Since the plantar fascia transitions into the Achilles tendon and calf musculature, the cause of pain may be found in these three areas among others. In most cases, the patient has begun to limp and their whole body is out of balance. Integrated therapy is therefore important with this problem. This means including the entire body (from head to toe) in training.
In the kyBoot or on the kyBounder, a natural rollover is possible and the foot can move freely in all directions. This mobilises the Achilles tendon and releases agglutination in the tendon. Circulation is also promoted, which speeds up healing in the tendon that is poorly supplied with blood.
The Achilles tendon (Tendo calcaneus or Tendo Achillis) is the common final tendon of the three-headed calf muscle (Musculus triceps surae), consisting of the two-headed calf muscle (Musculus gastrocnemius) and soleus muscle (Musculus soleus) to the heel.
The Achilles tendon is the thickest, strongest tendon in the human body. It is attached at the far top on the Tuber calcanei of the heel bone (calcaneus) across the entire width of this bony protrusion. Then, getting somewhat thinner, it runs straight up, reaching its narrowest point about 4 cm above its origin before continuously getting wider again.
Acute inflammation of the Achilles tendon/achillodynia
Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is typically caused by running. It often occurs with excessive training intensity among runners who increase the length and/or intensity of training too quickly. Studies show that men are more often affected than women.
Diffuse, dull or stabbing pain (especially after getting up: warm-up pain) in the area of the Achilles tendon, but usually directly at the insertion on the heel bone, is the leading symptom of Achilles tendon inflammation.
Chronic Achilles tendon inflammation
With chronic Achilles tendon inflammation (duration of the complaint > 6 months), palpable knots form due to tissue scarring.
Achilles tendon rupture/tear, partial rupture/partial tear
The Achilles tendon can withstand loads of 60–100 N/mm², corresponding to a load capacity of up to 800 kg on an area of 80 mm². A rupture of the Achilles tendon upon suddenly tensing theMusculus triceps surae therefore usually only occurs in case of previous damage due to overloading or improper strain. In this case the tendon sustains repeated smaller injuries, disrupting the supply of blood to the tissue and thereby leading to a degeneration in strength. The area 2 to 6 cm above the insertion (the narrowest point of the tendon) is most severely affected by these changes. This is where the supply to the tendon is poorest and also where it ruptures most frequently. The tendon ruptures suddenly with a loud sound similar to cracking a whip. Afterwards only very restricted plantar flexion is possible.
Pain in the Achilles tendon can also come from the heel.
Despite intensive research, no clear causes for Achilles tendon inflammation have been established. The Achilles tendon absorbs several times the body weight at every step. Running fast with a high body weight puts excessive strain on the Achilles tendon. High-speed and mountain runs also put significant strain on the Achilles tendon, as does a short-term increase in training and excessive training in general. Shoes that are too stiff and force the tendon to twist, shoes with poor heel counter placement and hyperpronation are other possible causes. Consequences include micro-trauma (very small injuries) and accompanying scarring, which can lead to rupturing of the Achilles tendon or even cause it to tear off in case of extended improper or excessive strain.
In a study by Reule and Alt (2011) the following factors are also discussed as causes of Achilles tendon inflammation: Foot shape, lack of blood circulation to the tendon, age, ankle kinematics and hyperpronation.
The cause of chronic pain is often to be found in a shortened and agglutinated Achilles tendon (Achilles tendon fibres). It can no longer work properly as a result and causes pain under load.
- If the cause of achillodynia/Achilles tendon inflammation is not treated, there is a risk that the inflammation may become chronic or the tendon can even rupture eventually.
- The pain caused by the inflamed Achilles tendon prevents a natural gait.
- The affected individual starts limping, thereby automatically putting excessive strain on other joints such as the foot on the sound side, the knees or the back.
- Regular stretching of the calf musculature
- Cooling, e.g. with ice
- Load reduction
- Relieving the tendon The basic stress can be relieved by increasing the heel height (for a brief time only, since shortening otherwise occurs).
- Rubbing with salves
- Special bandages
- Cortisone injections are controversial among doctors since, aside from being very effective, the risk of a tendon rupture increases (which is already high due to the condition itself)
- Shock wave therapy
- Sensorimotor insoles
The kybun principle of operation – being proactive
We recommend wearing the kyBoot at all times if possible. This makes it possible to treat the root of Achilles tendon complaints. Renewed irritation due to unfavourable force transmission to the tendon is prevented and the tendon can only agglutinate at night.
When you walk in the kyBoot, the Achilles tendon is mobilised with every step. This counteracts shortening and agglutination.
The kyBoot also promotes healing of the inflammation. Tendons are generally structures with poor blood circulation. Since the Achilles tendon is far down away from the heart, it has even poorer circulation than other tendons.
Wearing the kyBoot makes a natural rollover of the foot possible, which activates the long muscles of the foot and massively increases circulation in the Achilles tendon. This accelerates both the transportation of substances that cause pain and the healing of the Achilles tendon.
Specific initial reactions with Achilles tendon problems:
Your symptoms (pain) may well get worse in the beginning. Try to persevere and only take off the kyBoot if it gets very uncomfortable. The more often you wear the kyBoot, the sooner the Achilles tendon can regenerate.
Click here for the general initial reactions experienced by kyBounder and kyBoot beginners: Initial reactions
For information about the special kyBoot exercises or the basic kyBounder exercises , please click here: kybun exercises
The following adaptations to the standard implementation of interval walking are important in case of Achilles tendon inflammation:
- Be sure to switch between the two exercises; this is very important for circulation
- slow: Tendon under tension, little circulation
- fast: shorter but greater tension, better circulation
- Take short steps
- reduced strain on the tendon
- With slow exercises, pay attention to precise movements
- Avoid standing for long periods in the kyBoot/on the kyBounder and keep moving if possible (for standing activities: walk in place).
- Do not make your steps too long.
- Be sure to maintain an upright body posture.
- Correct the foot position if you notice lateral/medial rolling of the ankle joint.
- Wear the kyBoot as often as possible. Integrate the kyBounder and kyBoot into your daily routine.
- If you want to boost the training effect at home, the kyBounder is the ideal training device. Do as much housework as possible on the kyBounder (e.g. ironing).
- Make sure that your feet (especially the Achilles tendons) are always warm. This promotes blood circulation and the healing process.
- Stretch your calf musculature several times a day (the first time in the morning after getting up once you have walked for a while).
- Especially in the morning, the kyBoot should be worn starting with the first step if possible in order to gently release night time agglutination in the morning.
- Do not try to force anything. If the pain gets worse, give your Achilles tendon a break and provide relief with the kybun exercises.