Injury: Achilles tendinitis

What is Achilles tendinitis?

This is a common, painful disorder due to inflammation of the the Achilles tendon which attaches the muscles from the back of the lower leg to the heel as shown in the picture below.

area of pain due to Achilles tendonitis

Tendonitis often affects runners, ballet dancers and many other athletic individuals. it can cause considerable disability even in sedentary people, so the cause of the condition is not only due to injury. There are other factors involved. The red area in the illustration shows where pain and tenderness of the tendon usually occurs.

Considerable "scientific" opinion suggests that Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse as are other tendon injuries such as tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis or "painful heel". However, I doubt it is the sole cause of the condition. Pain is a major symptom of the condition so it would be reasonable to expect inflammation affecting the painful areas involved, but not according to Swedish researchers, Astrom et al, who biopsied the Achilles tendons of 163 patients with tendinitis and examined them under the microscope. See "Chronic Achilles tendinopathy. A survey of surgical and histopathologic findings."

Surprisingly, they only discovered degenerative changes in the tendon such as abnormal fibre structure and marked growth in small blood vessels but, there was no inflammation present.

They stated: “Important features are a lack of inflammatory cells and a poor healing response.”

As these are not signs one would expect to see, the cause of pain may be something else.

What then causes the pain?

To my mind, the pain appears to be due to the body’s immune system attacking and damaging its own tissues - a so-called “autoimmune reaction”. This "lapse" in the immune system in turn predisposes the athlete to injuries because continued exercise tends to generate more pain.

Prolonged stress, physical or psychological, can lead to an increased level of natural corticosteroids circulating in the bloodstream which then significantly suppresses the body’s immune status, pre-disposing it to auto-immune damage. The targets for these attacks can be any body tissue, but there is a predilection for specific sites. For instance, the thyroid gland, the anal mucosa (anal fissure), the plantar fascia (plantar fasciitis), the groin (osteitis pubis), tennis elbow and of course, the Achilles tendon.

Read how wheatgrass most likely heals.

How do we prevent or cure these conditions?

I have seen many victims of these conditions recover after applying wheatgrass extract over the painful area once or twice a week. This appears to be due to stopping pain sensation reaching the brain where pain is "felt". It can often stop pain, sometimes instantaneously after application.

Also, one can be protected from tendon and muscular injuries by applying a little wheatgrass extract over the upper and/or lower limbs prior to and after training or playing.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.

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