Effect of acute tensile loading on gender-specific tendon structural and mechanical properties

Burgess, KE, Graham-Smith, P and Pearson, S ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1503-5452 2009, 'Effect of acute tensile loading on gender-specific tendon structural and mechanical properties' , Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 27 (4) , pp. 510-516.

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Stretching is commonly used prior to exercise, as it is thought to reduce the risk of injury, and it is also used in the preconditioning of tendon grafts. As tendon properties have been shown to be different between genders, it is proposed that stretching will differentially affect the structure. Here we examine the effect of acute stretch on the mechanical properties of both male and female medial gastrocnemius tendon. Female [20 years +/- 1 (SEM), n = 17] and male (22 years +/- 1, n = 18) subjects underwent a 5-min passive dorsiflexion stretch. Prior to and post stretch medial gastrocnemius tendon stiffness (K), length (l) and cross-sectional area (csa) were measured using ultrasonography and dynamometry. Stiffness and Young's modulus (epsilon) were significantly reduced with stretch for both genders (p < 0.05). Females showed significantly (p < 0.05) greater pre- to poststretch decreases in K (22.4 vs. 8.8%) and epsilon (20.5 vs. 8.4%) in comparison to males. The present results show that stretching acutely reduces stiffness of the medial gastrocnemius tendon in females and males, with females showing significantly greater change. The observed disparity between genders may be due in part to variations in tendon moment arm and intrinsic differences in tendon composition. These differential changes in tendon mechanical properties have functional, motor control, and injury risk implications, as well as possible implications for preconditioning of tendon grafts.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Orthopaedic Research
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 07360266
Related URLs:
Funders: University of Salford
Depositing User: RH Shuttleworth
Date Deposited: 16 May 2011 11:17
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 15:53
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/15798

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