10 Facts about Tendons

Tendons are found all over the body and while you may know a little about them, you might be surprised to learn a few of these facts.

1. Tendons can be found at the ends of muscles. Tendons are simply connective tissues that attach muscles to bone and help them move our joints when they contract.

2. Tendons come in many shapes and sizes. While the most recognizable shape is the long thin kind (such as the Achilles tendon), they can also be flat and thin or very thick, depending on the shape of the muscle and attachment of the bone. A thin flat tendon is also known by the name aponeurosis.

3. Tendons are able to act like elastic bands, they can stretch and bounce back into shape. Like elastic bands, if too much force is applied they can stretch or tear.

4. Unlike elastic bands, tendons are living tissue and their properties are affected by many different factors. Seemingly unrelated things such as hormonal changes, autoimmune disorders and nutrition can all affect a tendon’s ability to withstand load.

5. Tendons don’t only attach muscles to bone, they can attach to other structures as well such as the eyeball.

6. Tendons can tear however; more often they are injured through overuse. Healing of tendons can be quite slow as they have less blood supply than other tissues of the body, such as muscles.

7. Tendons are mostly made of organized collagen fibres. Areas of tendon degeneration have been shown to have collagen fibres that are disorganised, with this area having less strength and elasticity.

8.The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. This connects the large calf muscles to the back of the heel to point the ankle away from the body. Most tendons are simply named for the muscle they attach to, however the Achilles has it’s own name, named for the mythical Greek character who’s heel was his only point of weakness.

9. The smallest tendon is located in the inner ear, attaching to the smallest muscle in the body.

10. Tendons and muscles work together to move your joints and are called a contractile unit.

Contact Forrest Hill Physiotherapy for early injury treatment and rehabilitation guidelines.



Why is Good Posture so Important?

Health care professionals seem to constantly be talking about posture. While many people take away the message that they should “stand up straighter” the truth about what good posture is and why you should aim to have it is a little more complicated.

One of the reasons why posture is so important is that the body has an ideal alignment for almost every joint that provides the most stability and efficiency for movement in that position.

This is particularly true for the spine, which has a large number of joints that work together to provide movement, stability and support for the body. The spine must also provide a stable base for the shoulder and head. When the spine is in its optimum position, this also allows for free movement of the nerves that supply the trunk, arms and legs.

While the human body is highly adaptable and will continue to function when a posture is not “ideal”, a lot of energy is wasted and undue stress is placed on the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body. Over time this can cause pain, tightness and loss of flexibility.

While being able to find these optimum postures is important, it is also important to simply keep moving and not be stuck in the same position for long periods. No matter how ‘ideal’ a posture is, when joints are held in the same position for too long, this can be troublesome.

Working with a great base posture combined with regular movement and stretches can have a surprising impact on your overall wellbeing. Good posture has even been linked to higher self-esteem, improved concentration, and even better lung function.  Pilates is a fantastic exercise method which really emphasises good functional movement patterns while maintaining perfect posture. Over time these strategies become ingrained and habitual so you won’t have to even think about it!  Forrest Hill Physiotherapy runs a comprehensive Clinical Pilates program with highly experienced and trained instructors who work in conjunction with our Physiotherapists to provide safe exercise and very effective results.

See our website for more information on Clinical Pilates or speak to your Physiotherapist for practical tips on how to improve your posture throughout the day.

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