Tendons connect muscles to bones. They are primarily composed of collagen fibers, a material that can transfer forces from the muscle to the bone, ennabling the joint to move.
Injury to the tendon is univerally referred to as tendonopathy. There are three more specific terms defining tendon injuries:
- Tendonitis: Acute inflammation of the tendon (e.g. Achilles tendonitis)
- Tendonosis: Chronic inflammation, associated with degeneration and partial or complete rupture of the tendon. This condition can be asymptomatic.
- Paratendonitis: Acute inflammation of the paratendon (a sheath surrounding the tendon)
The primary causes of tendonopathies in dancers are errors in technique and training, and overuse. Any of the thirteen tendons crossing the ankle are susceptible to injury, but the most commonly injured in dancers are the Achilles tendon, peroneal tendons, posterior tibial tendons and Flexor hallucis longus (FHL).
Further reading on tendons:
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