Risk Factors for Achilles Tendinopathy

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Achilles Tendinopathy is a common injury to the lower leg found in runners, jumping athletes, and sedentary individuals.  In our previous blog posts on Achilles Tendinopathy we have described the impact of this diagnosis on the active population.  Physical Therapy remains the gold standard for conservative care focusing on restoring joint mobility and strength to the leg, as well as, reducing the risk of future training errors caused by overload to the tendon.  Recovery from achilles tendinopathy can be slow due to the slow healing nature of the tendon and because of this we should work hard to reduce an individual's risk for this diagnosis.  

A recent article was published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy to determine the known risk factors for the development of achilles tendinopathy (O'Neill et al. 2016).  Authors surveyed experts in the field using a Delphi technique to determine these known variables.  The risk factors with the strongest risk of future injury included ankle stiffness, history of calf pain, and being male.  These findings are consistent with previous research showing a loss of ankle bending or dorsiflexion remains a strong risk factor for the development of many lower extremity overuse pains.   To learn about how to reduce your risk of achilles tendinopathy speak with your local Physical Therapy expert.