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Do habitual foot-strike patterns in running influence functional Achilles tendon properties during gait?

Authors
  • Wearing, Scott C1
  • Davis, I S2
  • Brauner, T3
  • Hooper, S L1
  • Horstmann, T3
  • 1 Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology , Brisbane , Australia. , (Australia)
  • 2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School , Boston , USA.
  • 3 Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences, Technische Universität München , Munich , Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Sports Sciences
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Volume
37
Issue
23
Pages
2735–2743
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2019.1663656
PMID: 31506014
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The capacity of foot-strike running patterns to influence the functional properties of the Achilles tendon is controversial. This study used transmission-mode ultrasound to investigate the influence of habitual running foot-strike pattern on Achilles tendon properties during barefoot walking and running. Fifteen runners with rearfoot (RFS) and 10 with a forefoot (FFS) foot-strike running pattern had ultrasound transmission velocity measured in the right Achilles tendon during barefoot walking (≈1.1 ms-1) and running (≈2.0 ms-1). Temporospatial gait parameters, ankle kinematics and vertical ground reaction force were simultaneously recorded. Statistical comparisons between foot-strike patterns were made using repeated measure ANOVAs. FFS was characterised by a significantly shorter stance duration (-4%), greater ankle dorsiflexion (+2°), and higher peak vertical ground reaction force (+20% bodyweight) than RFS running (P < .05). Both groups adopted a RFS pattern during walking, with only the relative timing of peak dorsiflexion (3%), ground reaction force (1-2%) and peak vertical force loading rates (22-23%) differing between groups (P < .05). Peak ultrasound transmission velocity in the Achilles tendon was significantly higher in FFS during walking (≈100 ms-1) and running (≈130 ms-1) than RFS (P < .05). Functional Achilles tendon properties differ with habitual footfall patterns in recreational runners.

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