Data from a small study published online in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine suggest that hill running may not negatively affect the Achilles tendon (AT), compared to running on level ground. The researchers used Doppler ultrasound to image AT cross-sectional area (CSA) for twenty women who ran for 10 minutes on each of three randomly ordered grades: -6 percent, 0, and +6 percent. They found similar decreases in AT CSA from pre- to post-run for all three grades, suggesting that decrease in CSA may be a normal response to running independent of grade. The researchers did note that active peak vertical forces were different across grades, with the largest occurring during downhill running and smallest during uphill running.
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