Thread: Achilles tendon
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
David Meverden
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Re: Achilles tendon

Ugg. Yeah, I don't like that answer either.

While I've got your ear Steven I'm just going to pepper you with questions because a lot of this achilles stuff just isn't adding up for me.

1) What about Calf Raise Negatives (umm, calf lowers?)? I've seen them cited as a treatment for achilles tendinitis before but don't know why they recommend negatives instead of just calf raises. Is the intention to have people do weight above their maximum? If so, could something similar be useful in this case?

2) Would sprinting or running stairs help prepare one's achilles? It seems like most ruptures happen while people run, at least sampled from the 10 videos on this webpage that show ruptures: (not necessarily WFS) so it seems like the stresses are in the same ballpark.

For that matter, if that CF open WoD had had a 40 yard dash instead of box jumps would you have gotten less achilles ruptures? Apparently there are 66,000 achilles sports injuries (WFS) that require hospital time, rehab, or surgery (WFS) every year. If 1/4 of americans are athletes that these injuries happen to then that would be 0.88 ruptures per 1,000 people. This blog entry (WFS, except for language) says there were 20-25 ruptures from last years open, but weren't there 24,000 participants? That's about 1 rupture per 1000 people, which isn't much above the very rough estimate above. Is sprinting just as dangerous as high rep box jumps or are the numbers off some where?

3) People generally approve of low rep plymetrics, including depth drops, but not high rep box jumps, but why does high reps matter on a tendon? Why isn't height of the drop the central/only risk factor? As an engineer I know that if you repeatedly stress a piece of steel at stress of 35,000 psi it will fail after about 11,000 repetitions. If you increase the stress to 45,000 psi (a 28% increase) it can take only ONE TENTH that many cycles (1100) before breaking. Stess is the much bigger factor than number of cycles. So why doesn't the relatively inert tissue of the tendon act the same way? Why are 15 depth jumps from 40" supposedly safe and 50 box jumps from 24" aren't? Or are all plyometrics inherently dangerous but no body hears about it since there aren't 24,000 people in garage gyms doing depth jumps?

So many questions!
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