Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH

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Inter-limb differences in vivo tendon behavior, kinematics, kinetics and muscle activation during running
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics. (Biomechanics and Movement Control; Laboratoriet för biomekanik och motorisk kontroll (BMC))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8720-1483
La Trobe Rural Health School, Bendigo, Australia.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1210-6449
2022 (English)In: Journal of Biomechanics, ISSN 0021-9290, E-ISSN 1873-2380, Vol. 141, article id 111209Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Overloading of tendon tissue may result in overuse tendon injuries in runners. One possible cause of overloading could be the occurrence of biomechanical inter-limb differences during running. However, scarce information exists concerning the simultaneous analysis of inter-limb differences in external and internal loading-related variables in habitual runners. In this study ground reaction force, joint kinematics, triceps surae and tibialis anterior activations, and medial gastrocnemius muscle-tendon junction displacement were assessed bilaterally during treadmill running at 2.7 m.s-1 and 4.2 m.s-1. Statistical parametric t-tests and effect sizes were calculated to identify eventual inter-limb differences across the stance phase and stride cycle. Hip flexion angle was 9° greater (p = 0.03, ES = 0.30) in the non-preferred limb during the flight phase at 4.2 m.s-1. Hip extension velocity was 45 deg.s-1 greater (p = 0.04, ES = 0.41) during ground contact and 25 deg.s-1 greater (p = 0.02, ES = 0.41) immediately after toe-off in the non-preferred limb at 4.2 m.s-1. Hip extension velocity was also 40 deg.s-1 greater (p = 0.01, ES = 0.46) in the non-preferred limb prior to touch-down at 4.2 m.s-1. Brief inter-limb differences in joint kinematics were not accompanied by inter-limb differences in variables associated to internal loading, suggesting they are unlikely to be underlying factors leading to tendon overloading in healthy non-injured runners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2022. Vol. 141, article id 111209
Keywords [en]
Bilateral, Plantar flexors, Runners
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-6676DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2022.111209PubMedID: 35810654OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-6676DiVA, id: diva2:1554171
Note

At the time of Tiago Jacques' dissertation this manuscript was submitted and under review.

Available from: 2021-05-12 Created: 2021-05-12 Last updated: 2023-01-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bilateral kinetic, kinematic, neuromechanical, and muscle-tendon properties of habitual runners
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bilateral kinetic, kinematic, neuromechanical, and muscle-tendon properties of habitual runners
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Achilles tendon overuse-related injuries are a frequent problem to habitual runners. Such injuries occur more often unilaterally and its etiology is associated to overloading of the tendon tissue. Inter-limb differences during running are a possible cause for overload due to eventual differences in the mechanical loading provided to each limb. Furthermore, inter-limb differences in Achilles tendon properties were found in athletes due to sport-induced differences in the mechanical loading and in non-athletes due to limb preference. Currently, inter-limb differences in the Achilles properties of habitual runners is unknown. The present thesis investigated the existence of inter-limb differences in biomechanical, neuromechanical and Achilles tendon properties in habitual runners. In Study I, thirteen triathletes performed a cycle-run simulation while vertical ground reaction force (GRFv), lower limb kinematics and triceps surae and tibialis anterior activation were evaluated bilaterally during the start, mid and end stages of the 5 km running segment. In Study II, GRFv, lower limb kinematics, triceps surae and tibialis anterior activation and Achilles tendon strain were evaluated bilaterally in habitual runners at two running speeds (2.7 m.s-1 and 4.2 m.s-1). In Study III, spatiotemporal variables, vertical (kVert) and limb (kLimb) stiffness and center of mass (COM) kinematics were evaluated bilaterally in habitual runners at the same running speeds adopted in Study II. In Study IV, maximal plantar flexion isometric force, triceps surae activation and activation ratios, and Achilles tendon morphological, mechanical and material properties were evaluated bilaterally in habitual runners. In Study I the Soleus activation was lower in the preferred limb from 53.4% to 75.89% of the stance phase (p<0.01, ES range = 0.59 to 0.80) at the end stage of running. In Study II, hip extension velocity was greater in the non-preferred limb from 71% to 93% of the stance phase (p<0.01) during running at 4.2 m.s-1 while no other inter-limb differences were observed. In Study III, no inter-limb differences were observed in spatiotemporal, kVert and kLimb at investigated running speeds. However, COM horizontal velocity was greater from 67% to 87.40% of stance the phase (p<0.05, ES >0.60) when the non-preferred limb was in contact with the ground. In Study IV, no inter-limb differences were observed in triceps surae activation or Achilles tendon properties. The activation ratios of MG and SOL, however, were observed to correlate in the preferred limb only.

In summary, neuromuscular and kinematic inter-limb differences were observed when healthy, non-injured habitual runners performed in running conditions similar to their ecological conditions. Moreover, the Achilles tendon seem to adapt similarly among limbs of habitual runners, while triceps surae activation strategies might differ between limbs. Findings of inter-limb differences occurring during running may result in overload during running and therefore might be implicated in the etiology of Achilles tendon overuse-related injuries in habitual runners. Findings of similar tendon properties among limbs suggest both limbs have similar chances of incurring in the injury process.

Coaches and clinicians might improve current preventive strategies for Achilles tendon overuse-related injuries by monitoring tendon properties and running biomechanical and neuromuscular variables bilaterally across the season.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, 2021. p. 71
Series
Avhandlingsserie för Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan ; 19
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-6678 (URN)978-91-986490-0-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2021-06-04, Zoom, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-05-12 Created: 2021-05-12 Last updated: 2021-05-17

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Jacques, Tiago CanalArndt, Anton

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