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4th November 2013

Changes seen in the gluts of runners with achilles tendinopathy

This recently published paper identifies changes in the firing patterns of gut max and glut med in runners with achilles tendinopathy.

This evidence supports the need to screen the movement system for impairments rather than just managing the local problem.

The Running Matrix is to be launched this week and will help you identify movement impairments in runners

Neuromotor Control of Gluteal Muscles in Runners with Achilles Tendinopathy Smith MM, Honeywill C, Wyndow N, Crossley KM, Creaby MW.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Oct 10.



The purpose of this study was to compare the neuromotor control of the Gluteus Medius (GMED) and Gluteus Maximus (GMAX) muscles in runners with Achilles tendinopathy to that of healthy controls.


Fourteen male runners with Achilles tendinopathy and nineteen healthy male runners (Control) ran over-ground whilst electromyography of GMED and GMAX was recorded. Three temporal variables were identified via visual inspection of EMG data: (i) onset of muscle activity (onset), (ii) offset of muscle activity (offset), and (iii) duration of muscle activity (duration). A multivariate analysis of covariance with between subject factor of group (Achilles tendinopathy, Control) and variables of onset, offset, and duration was performed for each muscle. Age, weight and height were included as covariates and alpha level set at 0.05.


The Achilles tendinopathy group demonstrated a delay in the activation of the GMED relative to heel strike (p < 0.001) and a shorter duration of activation (p < 0.001) compared to that of the Control group. GMED offset time relative to heel strike was not different between the groups (p = 0.063). For GMAX the Achilles tendinopathy group demonstrated a delay in its onset (p = 0.008), a shorter duration of activation (p = 0.002), and earlier offset (p < 0.001) compared to the Control group.


This study provides preliminary evidence of altered neuromotor control of the GMED and GMAX muscles in male runners with Achilles tendinopathy. Whilst further prospective studies are required to discern the causal nature of this relationship, this study highlights the importance of considering neuromotor control of the gluteal muscles in the assessment and management of patients with Achilles tendinopathy.


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