The Achilles tendon is closely connected to the calf muscle. In fact, one might say they are best friends. The calf is made of several bundles of muscles including the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The Achilles tendon connects the ends of these muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). The tendon originates near the middle of these muscles and terminates into the back of the heel bone.
Unfortunately, because the Achilles and your calf muscles are linked so closely, something that injures or affects one is likely to injure or affect the other. Tight calf muscles have the greatest effect. A tight calf muscle puts strain or tension on the Achilles at its points of insertion. This can lead to bone spurs and tendonitis. It also causes midfoot strain, increased pressure on the heel and ball of the foot, and tearing of the plantar fascia.
Stretching your calf muscles before and after exercise or activity can help keep muscles loose and reduce strain on the Achilles. If you are experiencing pain in the back of your heel, ankle, or calf, call the FAAWC today at 740.363.4374.