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Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2012 Jun 17;2(1):44-8. Print 2012 Jan.

Achilles tendinopathy in amateur runners: role of adiposity (Tendinopathies and obesity).

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G. d' Annunzio University Foundation, University "G. d' Annunzio" Chieti - Pescara, Chieti Scalo (CH), Italy.


Obesity is an important risk factor for Achilles tendinopathy, and running is usually carried out to reduce excess body weight. Aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Achilles tendinopathy in young over-weight amateur runners. MALE RUNNERS AND NON RUNNERS WERE RECRUITED AND, IN EACH CATEGORY, DIVIDED IN TWO GROUPS: normal weight, and overweight. Data about Achilles tendon thickness, vascularisation and structural abnormalities were collected using a Power Doppler Ultrasonography device. Achilles tendon thickness was greater in both normal weight or overweight runners, but the difference was significant only in normal weight subjects. In non - runners, thickness was significantly higher only in over-weight subjects. Sonographic abnormalities were significantly prevalent in overweight runners. Running is associated to a physiologic hypertrophy of Achilles tendon in normal weight subjects. Overweight runners may precociously develop tendon abnormalities, due to the increased stress and the unfavourable milieu of repair.


Achilles tendon; obesity; running; tendinopathy; ultrasound


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