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Zach Koch

Short Achilles Tendon

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Zach Koch

After hurting my back doing lower weight squats, my doctor told me that having a shorter achilles tendon made the barbell squat more dangerous.

I'm now wonder if this is also why I've never been able to touch my toes despite daily attempts.

Does anyone have, or is anyone familiar with a case where someone has a shorter achilles tendon and was able to reach fingers or wrist to toes. Is it feasible?

My neice(5 years old) has it even worse than I do. She constantly toe walks and in her gymnastics class, is the only kid who seems to be having trouble. So, I'm asking for her as well.

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Alan Tseng

Have you ever seen a massage therapist before?  They would be able to help you with this.

 

I used to have trouble touching my toes too, but after a series of things (one of them being massaging my calves), I'm now able to touch my toes.  Still working on hands to palms.

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Alexander Egebak

I know that the achillies tendon is shortened by using arch-supporting shoes like the classical running shoes. If you are using these you basically want to get rid of them right away and replace them with some minimalistic shoes with a flat sole, no toe elevation amd no heel cushioning etc. This might be a hard transition, but walking/running barefoot or with the right shoes will help people. Improvement should be seen within half a year.

 

Of course I cannot say if this would help your specific problem but foot health in general should be a concern.

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Alan Tseng

I know that the achillies tendon is shortened by using arch-supporting shoes like the classical running shoes. If you are using these you basically want to get rid of them right away and replace them with some minimalistic shoes with a flat sole, no toe elevation amd no heel cushioning etc. This might be a hard transition, but walking/running barefoot or with the right shoes will help people. Improvement should be seen within half a year.

 

Of course I cannot say if this would help your specific problem but foot health in general should be a concern.

I would hesitate going directly to barefeet style shoes (minimalist shoes and barefeet have some differences), don't transition right away to something like vibrams with zero heel cushioning.  For example, I started by wearing shoes that had 8mm heel drop with mild cushioning (Saucony shoes, can't remember which model but it remained my favorite shoes to date), then Nike Frees 3.0 with 4MM heel drop and even less stability, before getting a Vibrams with even less stability and heel drop.  Think of it as strengthening progressions for your feet.

 

Even then, it's important you actually understand and practice proper gait, otherwise it might actually make your problems worse instead of getting better

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GoldenEagle

I would hesitate going directly to barefeet style shoes (minimalist shoes and barefeet have some differences), don't transition right away to something like vibrams with zero heel cushioning.  For example, I started by wearing shoes that had 8mm heel drop with mild cushioning (Saucony shoes, can't remember which model but it remained my favorite shoes to date), then Nike Frees 3.0 with 4MM heel drop and even less stability, before getting a Vibrams with even less stability and heel drop.  Think of it as strengthening progressions for your feet.

 

Even then, it's important you actually understand and practice proper gait, otherwise it might actually make your problems worse instead of getting better

I wouldn't and didn't hesitate going directly to barefoot/ minimalist/ zero heel drop. An individual is just delaying the inevitable foot and leg strengthening by making the transition "slowly."

 

Feel free to debate Harvard on barefoot running and foot mechanics.

 

Granted, I went from wearing Doc Marten Boots to wearing a pair of Terra Planna Vivobarefoot Evo running shoes on a daily basis for two years before I bought my current pair of Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove running shoes.

Edited by GoldenEagle
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Zach Koch

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

I've actually been using minimal foot wear for about 4 years. I started with the Nike Free, then got a pair of Luna Sandals (I'm on my third pair). I got the Merrell Trail Gloves for running trails, then got a pair of Vibrams as a gift. Now I use the New Balance 20v3 almost exclusively for all occasions. 

 

They were great for getting rid of knee pain, but didn't do much for my flexibility.

 

I haven't seen a massage therapist. I always found massages more uncomfortable than anything. But, I have used a foam roller. What were the other things you mentioned?

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Rafael Garcia

A good massage therapist is worth their weight in gold. You simply can not compare them to using a foam roller. They find tight spots that you had no idea were even there. I know they are a little pricey depending on where you live but if I were you I would definitely see one. 

 

Rafa

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Alan Tseng

I wouldn't and didn't hesitate going directly to barefoot/ minimalist/ zero heel drop. An individual is just delaying the inevitable foot and leg strengthening by making the transition "slowly."

 Feel free to debate Harvard on barefoot running and foot mechanics.

 

Granted, I went from wearing Doc Marten Boots to wearing a pair of Terra Planna Vivobarefoot Evo running shoes on a daily basis for two years before I bought my current pair of Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove running shoes.

If someone wanted to go to a straddle planche, would they go directly to straddle planche or would they build up the prerequisites first? The same reason you would do the prereq's is the same reason you transition slowly. Don't discredit the importance of proper vs improper mechanics so easily. It is the equivalent of doing straddle planche with bent arm, arched back, retracted scapula. Proper running mechanics is VERY important.

By the way, barefeet/zero/minimalist all mean slightly different things. For example, minimalist is classified as 8mm or less (quite a bit further from zero heel drop.). Even some barefeet running shoes like some of the vibram models do not actually feature a zero heel drop

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Alexander Egebak

If someone wanted to go to a straddle planche, would they go directly to straddle planche or would they build up the prerequisites first? The same reason you would do the prereq's is the same reason you transition slowly. Don't discredit the importance of proper vs improper mechanics so easily. It is the equivalent of doing straddle planche with bent arm, arched back, retracted scapula. Proper running mechanics is VERY important.

By the way, barefeet/zero/minimalist all mean slightly different things. For example, minimalist is classified as 8mm or less (quite a bit further from zero heel drop.). Even some barefeet running shoes like some of the vibram models do not actually feature a zero heel drop.

I think it is not that easily comparable. One can from one day to the other choose to walk around with bare feet or minimalistic shoes without any trouble, unless you have a serious foot condition. However, I agree with you to the extent that one should no just jump into running barefoot. Here you need to strengthen connective tissue and foot muscles.

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GoldenEagle

If someone wanted to go to a straddle planche, would they go directly to straddle planche or would they build up the prerequisites first? The same reason you would do the prereq's is the same reason you transition slowly. Don't discredit the importance of proper vs improper mechanics so easily. It is the equivalent of doing straddle planche with bent arm, arched back, retracted scapula. Proper running mechanics is VERY important.

By the way, barefeet/zero/minimalist all mean slightly different things. For example, minimalist is classified as 8mm or less (quite a bit further from zero heel drop.). Even some barefeet running shoes like some of the vibram models do not actually feature a zero heel drop.

It is ironic you are trying to compare static strength of the shoulders and core with the innate and dynamic strength and mobility of your feet and lower legs. Comparing the two against each other is like comparing an apple and an orange.

 

When I transitioned to barefoot running. All I had to do was reduce the amount of miles I ran. No need to spend one, two, or three years wearing "Transition" shoes.

 

I have known the meaning of terms  "Barefoot," "Zero-Drop," and "Minimalist" where shoes are concerned. I have worked in the footwear department of big name athletic stores before now. 

 

Of course running mechanics is important we wouldn't be able to walk without the biomechanics. Usain Bolt's running gate is a mid foot to forefoot strike rather than a heel foot strike.  If you or anyone would like to debate mechanics feel free to take it to Harvard University. Running Barefoot (Harvard University study)

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Andrew Graham

Mobility work for your calf muscles! eccentric calf raises and then full ROM with a heal drop to maximise stretch. I doubt you have a short tendon...sounds like you just have tight calves!

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Mark Collins

The tendon length won't change as an adult. If you can dorsiflex the ankle to 90 degrees you can touch your toes. I assume you can dorsiflex to 90 degrees otherwise walking would be difficult. It's likely you have a stiff joint, tight myofascia or muscle.

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David McManamon

Let's not assume you have a short achilles tendon because a doctor mentions it in passing.  Your squat and forward bend are probably limited because you are not stretching effectively.

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Hannibal Ahmed

sounds like you went to a normal doctor, you're just tight, stretch, loosen, walk barefoot, repeat.

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