(Golden Oldie) Fibril morphology and tendon mechanical properties in patellar tendinopathy: effects of heavy slow resistance training.

Review written by Dr Ebonie Rio info

Key Points

  • Heavy slow resistance (HSR) exercise improved pain, function, quadriceps bulk and fibril density over 12-weeks in men with patellar tendinopathy.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Engaging patients to perform exercise can be hard, especially when they have pain. Education is a great way to improve patient adherence to exercise in what is often, in tendinopathy, a lengthy journey.

So what exactly is it that happens when we apply load to a tendon? Is it related to clinical improvement, and how does this relate to the way in which we educate our patients/athletes with tendinopathy? Heavy slow resistance (HSR) training has been found to be effective in the management of patellar tendinopathy (PT) in men (1). The mechanism(s) underlying these findings have been largely unestablished.

The aim of the present study was to “determine the effect of 12 weeks of HSR program on fibril morphology and whole tendon mechanical properties in male patellar tendons affected with chronic tendinopathy”.

Heavy slow resistance training has been found to be effective in the management of patellar tendinopathy in men.
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Education and defining expectations are two important steps in ensuring patient engagement in their rehab program.

METHODS

Eight male participants with PT were included in the study. Patellar tendinopathy was confirmed by an experienced clinician and based on tendon pain with activity, tendon swelling, hypoechoic areas as well as presence of colour Doppler signal within hypoechoic regions.

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