The Achillis Heel: Risk Factors in Runners with Achillis Tendon Pain

In a groundbreaking study the risk factors associated with Achilles tendon (AT) pain in runners were dissected, shedding light on key insights for preventing running injuries.

Over a 1-year period, 103 participants were examined, revealing that a more flexed knee (knee bend) at initial contact and midstance significantly predicted the development of Achillis Tendon pain. Surprisingly, a mere 1-degree increase in knee flexion correlated with a 15% higher risk of Achillis tendon injury in runners.

Biomechanical data showcased runners with Achillis Tendon pain displayed greater ankle dorsiflexion and knee flexion during the stance phase. Notably, knee flexion emerged as the primary risk factor for Achillis Tendon pain development in runners. The study also highlighted the impact of an increased external moment arm at the knee, highlighting its contribution to injury.

Strengthening the gluteus maximus and promoting a forward trunk lean could mitigate risks by decreasing the external moment arm and strain on the Achillis Tendon.

This study provides a valuable strategy for clinicians and runners alike, offering targeted insights into preventing and managing Achilles tendon injuries in runners. If you are a runner or an athlete suffering Achillis tendon pain, book with one of our clinicians today who can support you in creating a plan to recovery and back to sport pain free.