Achilles Tendon Facts

Sep 15, 2016

When you think of strength, your mind might first go to those burly people on ESPN 2 who pull buses with their ears and rip phone books in half (although the latter seems much easier to do nowadays). You might not imagine such strength residing within your own body in everyday life, but it’s there. Just take a look at your Achilles tendons.

The Achilles tendon is a thick cord that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. Every step you take, your Achilles forces the heel to follow along with your contracting calf. It is essential to movement.

Given its location and the forces it needs to support, the Achilles is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. Want a show of strength? Just hop up and down. In that very act, your Achilles tendons are withstanding forces up to 500 kg. That’s more than 1,100 pounds! Your tendons take forces like this throughout your lifetime.

For as buff and durable as they are, it’s still very important to take care of your Achilles’. A force that’s too strong or the course of repetitive strain over time can wear at the bands and cause inflammation or even tears. It’s important to gradually train and condition your tendons and muscles to take what you are dishing out to avoid injury. Football players know this well. According to the NFL, about eight Achilles tendon ruptures happen each season. But in 2011, when the NFL was in lockout, players were not training. When the sport started back up, 10 players suffered Achilles injuries before the season even began!

If you are suffering pain in the back of your heel, don’t wait on it. Give your Achilles the attention they deserve and come to see us at Family Foot Care & Surgery. Our offices can be reached at 203-288-4055 for Hamden or 203-876-7736 for Milford. You can also use our online form.