Podcast #118: Achilles Tendon Injuries with Derek Hansen


“The rehab [for ACL] is at a point now where it’s like okay we’ll rehab you and get you back… whereas the Achilles tendon, you see how debilitated somebody is after it and then beyond.”

“In T&F, you might see patellar tendonitis, foot and ankle stuff, shin splints, etc… but I had never seen an achilles rupture or heard about one [until recently].”

“What’s in the water? This is not normal… changes in shoe technology, track technology, but has there been much change in training technology?”

“There is some sort of degradation happening over time… bouts of inactivity with an acute increase in activity.”

“The straw that breaks the camel’s back, does it matter what step it is (e.g., false step), if that tendon is being whittled away over time?”

NFL: “The most prominent age group for Achilles rupture was 23 year olds.”

“There’s this undulation of heavy activity to no activity potentially… maybe that’s it, maybe there’s a detraining effect once you get out of college and you’re ripe at 23.”

“Complete rest may be a detriment and maybe there should be some sort of active rest as part of that transition period.”

“The biggest one for me is going to be this chronic/acute workload balance that’s just all over the map.”

“Is it total workload that’s the problem or is it maybe actually sitting people for periods and creating this imbalance?”

“If you’re not playing your sport consistently and you have these times off, maybe you lose timing, touch, feel, or a proprioceptive component that throws you off.”

 “It’s never like this guy’s had a clean history and then he tore his Achilles, there’s probably something in the kinetic chain that’s created a disruption.”

“Nobody likes to slip but would you rather slip or would you rather catch and tear?”

“Maybe there’s something to do with the switching between surfaces all the time (e.g., practicing on grass, playing on turf).”

“The players want familiarity and comfort in practice but then you’re gonna fly across the country and be on a surface you haven’t been on in maybe a year or two.”

“If you run on something soft, there’s gonna be an equalization in your tendons and soft tissues to stiffen your limb… whereas if you’re on a stiffer surface, you tend to be more elastic and things tend to be more compliant in your body.”

“It’s not surface dependent but it is what you’re accustomed to.”

Heavy sled pushes: “The mechanics do matter under these circumstances.”

“They go from the really soft training shoes to these cleats or spikes that are very stiff. We get into the variability issues… whereas, 30 years ago, there wasn’t much difference in the flex qualities of my training shoes versus my competition shoes. These new spikes, I can’t bend them.”

Calf training back in the day: “It wasn’t necessarily a big thing but it was certainly in there… it was almost just included because it’s a part of the body that we should address… I’ve found that that’s kind of lost favor.”

Derek’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/derekmhansen/?hl=en

Derek’s Linktree: https://linktr.ee/derekmhansen

Sprint Coach: https://www.sprintcoach.com

Running Mechanics: https://www.runningmechanics.com