Monday, October 28, 2013

Achilles Pain Related To Your Glute Strength

I've just had 3 patients in a row today all come and see me with pain in their Achilles. Strangely enough, all 3 had weakness in their gluteus medius muscle despite that side being their dominant (and should be stronger) leg. That was also the leg that had Achilles pain. Hence this write up.

It has been published and I've written before on how your gluteus medius (or buttock muscles) can cause knee pain especially in females. Well guess what, I just found a published paper from Australian researchers that found a link between gluteus medius and maximus weakness and Achilles pain (in male runners). Yet more confirmation on how important your gluteus medius and maximus really are.

The Australian researchers in the published paper compared 2 groups of male runners where one group had Achilles pain while the control group did not. Both groups of  runners did short runs at about 6:40 min per mile pace and the group of runners with Achilles pain were found to activate their gluteus muscles later than the group with no Achilles pain.

And not only that, their gluteal activation was also shorter in duration compared to the pain free group. This is of significance as poorer gluteal muscle activation can cause increased hip internal rotation and adduction (movement towards the midline of the body) leading to Achilles problems.

The authors are suggest retraining and strengthening gluteal muscles be included for runners with Achilles injuries.

The causes of your Achilles pain can be multifactorial, one of which can be due to your weakness in your gluteus medius and maximus as described above. Come see us at Physio and Sports Solutions to treat the cause of your Achilles pain.

Worth a look?

Smith MM, Honeywill C et al (2013). Neuromotor Control in Runners with Achilles Tendinopathy. Med Sci in Sports Ex. doi: 10.1249/MSS .0000000000000133.

*Pictures from

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