The role of stretching in tendon injuries

E Witrouw, N Mahieu and P McNair

The function of tendons can be classified into 2 categories: tensile force transmission and storage and release of elastic energy during locomotion.  The action of tendons in storing and releasing energy is mainly seen in sports activities with stretch-shortening cycles (SSCs).  The more intense the SSCs the more frequently tendon problems are observed as high SSC movements impose high loads on tendons.  The elasticity of tendon structures is a leading factor in the amount of energy stored.  The authors of this review suggest that prevention and rehabilitation programs for tendon injuries should focus on increasing this elasticity in athletes performing high SSC movements.  It has recently been shown that ballistic stretching can increase tendon elasticity, this finding has important clinical implications for treatment and prevention of tendon injuries.

British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2007, 41, 224-226

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