Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Grigg, Nicole L and Wearing, Scott C and O'Toole, John M and Smeathers, James E
Medicine and Science In Sports and Exercise
Achilles Tendinopathy Modulates Force Frequency Characteristics of Eccentric Exercise
Optional Fields
INTRODUCTION: Previous research has demonstrated that ground reaction force (GRF) recorded during eccentric ankle exercise is characterised by greater power in the 8-12Hz bandwidth when compared to that recorded during concentric ankle exercise. Subsequently, it was suggested that vibrations in this bandwidth may underpin the beneficial effect of eccentric loading in tendon repair. However, this observation has been made only in individuals without Achilles tendinopathy. This research compared the force frequency characteristics of eccentric and concentric exercises in individuals with and without Achilles tendinopathy. METHODS: Eleven male adults with unilateral mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy and nine control male adults without tendinopathy participated in the research. Kinematics and GRF were recorded while the participants performed a common eccentric rehabilitation exercise protocol and a concentric equivalent. Ankle joint kinematics and the frequency power spectrum of the resultant GRF were calculated. RESULTS: Eccentric exercise was characterised by a significantly greater proportion of spectral power between 4.5 and 11.5Hz when compared to concentric exercise. There were no significant differences between limbs in the force frequency characteristics of concentric exercise. Eccentric exercise, in contrast, was defined by a shift in the power spectrum of the symptomatic limb, resulting in a second spectral peak at 9Hz, rather than 10Hz in the control limb. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to healthy tendon, Achilles tendinopathy was characterised by lower frequency vibrations during eccentric rehabilitation exercises. This finding may be associated with changes in neuromuscular activation and tendon stiffness which have been shown to occur with tendinopathy and provides a possible rationale for the previous observation of a different biochemical response to eccentric exercise in healthy and injured Achilles tendons.
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