If you have been watching the Olympics you will have seen our best athlete’s doing their thing. Of course, when you have thousands of athletes competing it’s only natural that you’re bound to see a few injuries.
There’s one injury/moment that seems to have captured the Australian media’s eye. As it did mine. If you had the chance to watch the 3000m women’s steeplechase final, you would’ve seen one of our own Genevieve Gregson go down after landing from the steeplechase.
She unfortunately ruptured her achilles. Your achilles is the tendon at the back of your leg and attaches the calf to your heel. It’s heavily loaded through jumping, landing and running at high speeds. All of which are involved in the steeplechase.
To the trained eye, you could tell when she landed she clutched at the back of her foot/leg. Many people who rupture their achilles report feeling a popping sensation and almost a loud sound which can be mistaken for a ‘gunshot’.
If you were listening to the commentary you would’ve heard them comment about the fact she had injured her ‘good achilles’. Gregson had been nursing an achilles injury on the other side of her body. To many people this would be confusing because the side she ruptured was ‘uninjured’. However, as health professionals we are well aware that roughly 2 thirds of ruptures have had no history of pain. This should be a lesson that pain is a good thing and it’s your body’s natural way of letting you know that there’s something not quite right. One can only assume that when rehabbing her sore achilles, she would’ve been performing any exercises on the other side. Tendon rupture is impossible to predict. This is likely a combination of competing at the highest level and some bad luck.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your own achilles don’t be afraid to seek professional advice!