Loading rate and contraction duration effects on invivo human Achilles tendon mechanical properties

Christopher McCrum*, Kai D. Oberlaender, Gaspar Epro, Peter Krauss, Darren C. James, Neil D. Reeves, Kiros Karamanidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Web of Science)
27 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Tendons are viscoelastic, which implies loading rate dependency, but loading rates of contractions are often not controlled during assessment of human tendon mechanical properties invivo. We investigated the effects of sustained submaximal isometric plantarflexion contractions, which potentially negate loading rate dependency, on the stiffness of the human Achilles tendon invivo using dynamometry and ultrasonography. Maximum voluntary contractions (high loading rate), ramp maximum force contractions with 3s loading (lower loading rate) and sustained contractions (held for 3s) at 25%, 50% and 80% of maximal tendon force were conducted. No loading rate effect on stiffness (25-80% max. tendon force) was found. However, loading rate effects were seen up to 25% of maximum tendon force, which were reduced by the sustained method. Sustained plantarflexion contractions may negate loading rate effects on tendon mechanical properties and appear suitable for assessing human Achilles tendon stiffness invivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • gastrocnemius muscle
  • M
  • triceps surae
  • muscle strength
  • tendon stiffness
  • tendon strain
  • ultrasonography
  • HUMAN GASTROCNEMIUS TENDON
  • PATELLAR TENDON
  • MAXIMAL PLANTARFLEXION
  • TENSILE PROPERTIES
  • ELASTIC PROPERTIES
  • MUSCLE
  • STRAIN
  • ULTRASONOGRAPHY
  • APONEUROSIS
  • LOCOMOTION

Cite this