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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Don't ignore the kinetic chain in calf & Achilles injuries

❗️Don't ignore the kinetic chain in calf & Achilles injuries!🤕

It's not uncommon for those with recurrent calf & Achilles injuries to display strength deficits throughout the entire limb. This was supported by a 2022 study by Sancho that showed weakness in the quads, hamstrings & glutes in those with Achilles tendinopathy.


📈Loading is highest on the calf & Achilles during the midstance of the gait cycle. If we look to see what other muscles are active during this phase we see the quads, hip extensors (hamstrings & glutes) & hip abductors play a role in supporting the body.


🏃‍♀️In theory, if these muscles are not providing adequate support, then greater stress could be placed on the calf & Achilles. But we could also see Achilles sufferers offload the involved leg, stress shielding the entire leg & leading to weakness.


🔑So don't just stop at assessing calf function in those with ongoing calf & Achilles issues, assess the whole leg!


🤓Health professionals, to learn more about treating runners, check our upcoming Online & Face to Face “MAT Assessing the Runner” courses. 


‼️ UPCOMING Melbourne face-to-face course: July 20-21st.



📚References

  • Sancho, I., et al. (2022). "Recreational runners with Achilles tendinopathy have clinically detectable impairments: A case-control study." Physical Therapy in Sport 55: 241-247.


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