Kinematic risk factors for lower limb tendinopathy in distance runners: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Seyed Hamed Mousavi, Juha M Hijmans, Reza Rajabi, Ron Diercks, Johannes Zwerver, Henk van der Worp

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INTRODUCTION: Abnormal kinematics have been implicated as one of the major risk factors for lower limb tendinopathy (LLT).

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review evidence for kinematic risk factors for LLT in runners.

METHODS: Individual electronic searches in PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science were conducted. Two reviewers screened studies to identify observational studies reporting kinematic risk factors in runners with LLT compared to healthy controls. The Down and Black appraisal scale was applied to assess quality. A meta-analysis was performed provided that at least two studies with similar methodology reported the same factor.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies were included: Achilles tendinopathy (AT) (9), iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) (17), plantar fasciopathy (PF) (2), patellar tendinopathy (PT) (1), posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) (1). Eighteen studies were rated high-quality and ten medium-quality. The meta-analyses revealed strong evidence of higher peak knee internal rotation, moderate evidence of lower peak rearfoot eversion and knee flexion at heel strike and greater peak hip adduction in runners with ITBS. Very limited evidence revealed higher peak ankle eversion in runners with PF and PTTD or higher peak hip adduction in PT.

SIGNIFICANCE: Peak rearfoot eversion was the only factor reported in all included LLTs; it is a significant factor in ITBS, PT and PTTD but not in AT and PF. More prospective studies are needed to accurately evaluate the role of kinematic risk factors as a cause of LLT. Taken together, addressing rearfoot kinematic and kinematic chain movements accompanied by peak eversion should be considered in the prevention and management of LLT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalGait & Posture
Publication statusPublished - 1-Mar-2019


  • Biomechanics
  • Gait
  • Injury
  • Running
  • Tendinopathy
  • achilles tendinitis
  • adduction
  • ankle
  • biomechanics
  • heel
  • hip
  • human
  • iliotibial band friction syndrome
  • joint mobility
  • kinematics
  • knee function
  • lower limb
  • patellar ligament
  • patellar tendinopathy
  • pelvis
  • plantar fasciitis
  • posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
  • priority journal
  • range of motion
  • review
  • risk factor
  • runner
  • running
  • systematic review
  • tendinitis
  • trunk

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