Hip Biomechanics Are Altered in Male Runners with Achilles Tendinopathy


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Abstract

PurposeAchilles tendinopathy (AT) is a prevalent injury in running sports. Understanding the biomechanical factors associated with AT will assist in its management and prevention. The purpose of this study was to compare hip and ankle kinematics and kinetics in runners with and without AT.MethodsFourteen male runners with AT and 11 healthy male runners (CTRL) ran over ground while lower-limb joint motion and ground reaction force data were synchronously captured. Hip and ankle joint angles, moments, and impulses in all three planes (sagittal, transverse, and frontal) were extracted for analysis. Independent t-tests were used to compare the differences between the AT and the CTRL groups for the biomechanical variables of interest. After Bonferroni adjustment, an alpha level of 0.0026 was set for all analyses.ResultsThe AT group exhibited an increased peak hip external rotation moment (P = 0.001), hip external rotation impulse (P < 0.001), and hip adduction impulse (P < 0.001) compared with the CTRL group. No significant differences in ankle biomechanics were observed.ConclusionThis study presents preliminary evidence indicating that male runners with AT display altered hip biomechanics with respect to their healthy counterparts. Because of the retrospective design of the study, it is unknown whether these alterations are a predisposing factor for the disorder, a result of the condition, or a combination of both. The results of this study suggest that optimizing hip joint function should be considered in the rehabilitation of runners with AT.

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