The Achilles tendon

One of the longest tendons in the body, the Achilles tendon stretches from the heel bone to the calf muscles.

It’s easy to locate it – it’s that prominent and quite springy ridge of hard tissue at the back of your foot, just above the heel.  It’s amazingly strong – but it’s also frequently damaged, usually as a result of sporting activity.

Injuries to the Achilles tendon can be caused by many things. Some of the more common causes are:

  • High heels – these can increase the stress on the tendon, resulting in injury.
  • Flat feet (also called fallen arches or over-pronation). Here, the impact of a step makes the arch of the foot collapse, over-stretching the muscles and tendons.
  • Overuse – too much running and other sporting activity can cause damge to the Achilles tendon.

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