Recreational runners with Achilles tendinopathy have clinically detectable impairments: A case-control study

Igor Sancho, Dylan Morrissey, Richard W. Willy, Abdulhamit Tayfur, Ion Lascurain-Aguirrebeña, Christian Barton, Peter Malliaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To confirm what impairments are present in runners with Achilles tendinopathy (AT) and explore the variance of AT severity in an adequately powered study. Design: Case-control study. Setting: Two private physiotherapy clinics in Australia and Spain. Participants: Forty-four recreational male runners with AT and 44 healthy controls matched by age, height, and weight. Main outcome measures: Demographics, activity (IPAQ-SF), pain and function (VISA-A), pain during hopping (Hop pain VAS), hopping duration, psychological factors (TSK-11, PASS20), and physical tests regarding lower-limb maximal strength and endurance. Results: Body mass index (BMI), activity, VISA-A, pain, and duration of hopping, TSK-11, PASS20, standing heel raise to failure, seated heel raise and leg extension 6RM, hip extension and abduction isometric torque were significantly different between groups (P < 0.05) with varied effect sizes (V = 0.22, d range = 0.05–4.18). 46% of AT severity variance was explained by higher BMI (β = −0.41; p = 0.001), weaker leg curl 6RM (β = 0.32; p = 0.009), and higher pain during hopping (β = −0.43; p = 0.001). Conclusion: Runners with AT had lower activity levels, lower soleus strength, and were less tall. BMI, pain during hopping, and leg curl strength explained condition severity. This information, identified with clinically applicable tools, may guide clinical assessment, and inform intervention development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-247
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Clinical assessment
  • Condition severity
  • Impairments
  • Running injury


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