Colin Griffin – Achilles Injury Rehab & Lower Limb Biomechanics

achilles achilles injury achilles management achilles rehab force plates force profiling pathoanatomy research unpacked tendinopathy Apr 30, 2024


Episode 142: In this Research Unpacked Episode from Inform Performance, Dr Dylan Carmody chats to Colin Griffin, a Strength and Conditioning Coach and lower limb Rehabilitation Specialist. In this episode they discuss Colins work at the UPMC Sports Surgery Clinic and his experience as an elite athlete. He emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and continuous professional development in his clinic. Griffin explains his assessment process for Achilles tendon issues, considering factors such as the patient’s background, training history, and goals. He also discusses the use of isokinetic testing and alternative testing setups. Griffin provides insights into the gastrocnemius run out and the tensile demands placed on tendons and muscles during various activities and explores various aspects of Achilles tendon rehabilitation.

Topics Discussed 

  • Pathoanatomy
  • Force profiling with IKD, Force Plates, HHD
  • Realistic achilles loads
  • Plyometric exercises for the achilles
  • Achilles tendinopathy assessment


Anatomy & Physiology

  • The architecture of the Achilles tendon, including its multi-penetrate fiber arrangement and interwoven connective tissue, plays a crucial role in force production.

  • Subtendons within the Achilles tendon may have different strain rates, and understanding these variations can be important in managing tendonopathy.

  • Supplementation, such as collagen and vitamin C, may have potential benefits in improving tendon stiffness and connective tissue remodeling.


  • The magnitude and loading rate of forces applied to the Achilles tendon during activities like sprinting can be extremely high, requiring the tendon to have viscoelastic properties and the ability to handle rapid stretches.


  • In Achilles rehab, it is important to consider individual factors, such as age and systemic health, find the right entry point for loading, and be prepared for setbacks and adjustments in the rehab process.

  • it is important to focus on building peak force, stimulating tissue remodeling, and preparing for high loading demands through exercises like plyometrics and jumping.

  • When comparing different loading approaches in Achilles rehab, a criteria-based approach that includes a variety of exercises and addresses multiple athletic qualities may be more effective than a singular exercise mode.

  • In addition to calf-specific exercises, lower extremity reconditioning exercises should be included in Achilles rehab to address kinetic chain strength and prepare for the demands of high-level sports.

  • Assessing plyometric performance, including vertical and horizontal jump tests, can provide valuable information about an athlete’s elastic qualities and help tailor their rehab program.

  • Constraints and cues can be used in plyometric training to encourage specific movement strategies and target desired muscle activation patterns.

Where you can find Colin: