Gender differences in the Achilles tendon load during the fencing lunge
Background: Recent epidemiological analyses in fencing have shown that injuries and pain linked specifically to fencing training/competition were evident in 92.8% of fencers. Specifically the prevalence of Achilles tendon pathology has increased substantially in recent years, and males have been identified as being at greater risk of Achilles tendon injury compared to their female counterparts. This study aimed to examine gender differences in Achilles tendon loading during the fencing lunge. Material/Methods: Achilles tendon load was obtained from eight male and eight female club level epee fencers using a 3D motion capture system and force platform information as they completed simulated lunges. Independent t-tests were performed on the data to determine whether differences existed. Results: The results show that males were associated with significantly greater Achilles tendon loading rates in comparison to females. Conclusions: This suggests that male fencers may be at greater risk from Achilles tendon pathology as a function of fencing training/ competition.
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