Australian football players’ Achilles tendons respond to game loads within 2 days: an ultrasound tissue characterisation (UTC) study
Whilst the patho-etiology of tendinopathy is currently unknown, numerous cross-sectional and prospective studies have identified tendon pathology on imaging prior to the onset of clinical symptoms. The response of the tendon to load and the early stages of tendinopathy remain poorly understood. The current study investigated the presence and the time-course of short-term change in the Achilles tendon in response to load in elite Australian football players during competition.
18 players were studied – 12 with no past-history of tendinopathy, 6 with previous hamstring or patellar tendinopathy. Achilles tendon structure was quantified prior to competition (day 0), day 1, 2, and 4 post-match.
The tendinopathy group exhibited an altered UTC echopattern, consistent with a slightly disorganised tendon structure. Conversely, the normal group displayed a significant reduction in normal tendon structure on day 2, which returned to baseline on day 4. These findings demonstrated a transient change in tendon structure in the Achilles tendon post-match amongst individuals without a history of lower limb tendinopathy. > From: Rosengarten et al., Br J Sports Med (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
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