The Achilles tendon

The Achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in the body, stretching from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles.

You can feel it -- a springy band of tissue at the back of your ankle and above your heel. It allows you to extend your foot and point your toes to the floor. Despite the fact that it’s amazingly strong, it's a commonly injured tendon, often – but not always - as a result of a sports injury. 

 An Achilles tendon injury might be caused by:

  • Overuse
  • Stepping up your level of physical activity too quickly
  • Wearing high heels, which increases the stress on the tendon
  • Problems with the feet - an Achilles tendon injury can result from flat feet, also known as fallen arches or over-pronation. In this condition, the impact of a step causes the arch of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.
  • Muscles or tendons in the leg that are too tight.

 Read the other links in this section for information on specific Achilles problems.