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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-41

Factors associated with Achilles tendon pain in cyclists in eastern province of Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Primary Health Care, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdullatif K Althunyan
7357, Unit 1, Dammam 3045-32265
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_503_20

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BACKGROUND: Cyclists are predisposed to different types of injuries whose patterns and distribution change over time. During bicycling, the high demand on lower extremities to produce speed places high load on the legs resulting in overuse injuries of which pain in the Achilles tendon is one. This study assessed Achilles tendon pain in cyclists in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of active cyclists in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Data were collected using validated and pretested web-based self-administered questionnaire. Of the 511 cyclists invited, 311 completed the questionnaire yielding 60.62% response rate. SPSS was used for data entry and analysis. Descriptive statistics included calculation of frequencies and percentages for categorical variables, and median, mean and standard deviation for continuous variables. Chi-square test measured the associations between Achilles pain and various risk factors. Student's t-test, or Mann–Whitney test as appropriate, was used to compare continuous variables. RESULTS: Ten percent of mature and 9.1% professional cyclists reported that they had Achilles tendon pain. The pain was reported by significantly higher proportion of cyclists who raced (25%) and cyclists who rode mountain bicycles off-road (60.0%); average duration of the Achilles tendon pain was 7 days. Of the cyclists who had Achilles tendon pain, 32.1% reported that the pain increased when they were in running load and 28.6% reported increased pain in cycling load. Most cyclists described the pain as mild (67.9%) and moderate (32.1%). Overweight and underweight cyclists reported significantly higher rates of Achilles tendon pain (60% and 12.5%) compared to other body mass index classes. CONCLUSION: Achilles tendon pain commonly affects both amateur and professional cyclists. The study underpins the importance of a gradual increase in the training load, proper conditioning, bike fitting, and the maintenance of ideal body weight of cyclists to prevent Achilles tendon pain.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010