Apunts Medicina de l'Esport (Castellano) Apunts Medicina de l'Esport (Castellano)

Potential risk factors leading to tendinopathy

Peter Malliaras, Seth O’Neill


Tendinopathy has a multifactorial etiology that is not well understood. Risk factors are often separated into extrinsic (those acting on the body) and intrinsic groups (those acting from within the body). In this narrative review, we will separate potential risk factors into 1) load-related (extrinsic); 2) biomechanical factors (intrinsic); and 3) other individual factors such as systemic factors (intrinsic). Too much load is clearly linked to tendinopathy, but there appears to be large variation in how much load individuals can endure before developing tendinopathy. Less active people also suffer tendinopathy, suggesting that the effect of load is likely to be moderated by intrinsic factors. These individual intrinsic factors are likely to reduce tolerance or capacity to withstand load. This narrative review will provide a brief overview of key potential risk factors and mechanisms, as well as limitations in the current literature.