Risk Factors for Achilles Tendinopathy
The presence of Achilles tendon pain, swelling and an impaired load-bearing capacity indicate Achilles Tendinopathy (AT).
AT is most frequently seen in elite running athletes, with a lifetime risk of 52%.
It should, however, be noted that one-third of all patients with AT have a sedentary lifestyle.
This highlights a broad spectrum of potential risk factors for AT, yet the exact aetiology remains uncertain.
Van Der Vlist, et al. (2019), systematically reviewed the literature regarding the potential clinical risk factors that have been investigated for AT. 📈📈
WHAT IS KNOWN?
Achilles tendinopathy is considered an overuse injury. However, the aetiology is unclear.
Most commonly affects runners and running sports from 30 years old to 60 years old.
Generally Accepted Risk Factors:
Chronic diseases affecting tendon quality.
Use of fluoroquinolones or statins.
Weak plantar flexor strength.
Reduced ankle dorsiflexion.
To date, conclusive evidence is missing.
A lack of high-quality studies explaining risk factors for Achilles tendinopathy.
10 cohort studies identified, all with high risk of bias.
Limited evidence exists for 9 Risk Factors for Achilles tendinopathy:
1. Prior lower limb tendinopathy or fracture
2. Use of ofloxacin antibiotics
3. Increased time between heart transplantation and initiation of quinolone treatment for infectious disease
4. Moderate alcohol use
5. Training during cold weather
6. Decreased isokinetic plantar flexor strength
7. Decreased forward propulsion in gait
8. Lateral rollover at forefoot flat phase
9. Creatinine clearance of <60 mL/min in heart transplant patients.
9 clinical factors were identified, which increase a person’s risk of Achilles tendinopathy. .
When treating Achilles Tendinopathy, ofloxacin use, alcohol consumption and a reduced plantar flexor strength are modifiable risk factors.
See the last post from @grapplersperformance
for 1 of my favorite plantar flexion strength exercises. .
Van Der Vlist, et al. 2019. Clinical Risk Factors for Achilles Tendinopathy. BJSM