"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.”
As is well known, the term Achilles’ heel comes from Greek mythology. When Achilles was a child, his mother dipped him into the river Styx in order to protect him from harm. However, she kept hold of his heel and the water did not touch this part of his body, consequently it was left vulnerable. During the Trojan War, Achilles was struck on his unprotected heel by a poisoned arrow shot by Paris, thus killing him. It has therefore become a metaphor for a deadly weakness, despite possession of overall strength. I believe that this apocryphal tale resulted from the incurability of this common type of injury during ancient times. No doubt many an able Greek athlete or warrior became incapacitated by a rupture to this tendon, which subsequently became immortalized in the story of Achilles. In those days there was probably very little prospect of recovery to previous form, and for such accomplished sportsmen, this fall from grace would have been worthy of a Greek tragedy.
Of course today, medical procedures can be applied but it is still very difficult to recover completely from chronic injury to this important tendon. This small booklet will hopefully help the increasing number of active people, who like myself, have become afflicted with this debilitating ailment. If you assiduously follow the advice, it could be one of the best investments you have ever made. Although I regard it desirable to be concise, it is also necessary to discuss in detail certain important aspects of this injury, so as to guide you in the right direction. I have distilled the basics of what I believe needs to be known and certainly what I would have liked to have been aware of at the onset of my injury and represents years of personal experience and information gathering.