Date of this Version

11-4-2016

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Maurini, J., Ohmsen, P., Condon, G., Pope, R., & Hing, W. (2016). National Rugby League athletes and tendon tap reflex assessment: A matched cohort clinical study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 17.

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© The Author(s). 2016

Distribution License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN

1471-2474

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Limited research suggests elite athletes may differ from non-athletes in clinical tendon tap reflex responses.

METHODS:

n this matched cohort study, 25 elite rugby league athletes were compared with 29 non-athletes to examine differences in tendon reflex responses. Relationships between reflex responses and lengths of players' careers were also examined. Biceps, triceps, patellar and Achilles tendon reflexes were clinically assessed.

RESULTS:

Right and left reflexes were well correlated for each tendon (rS = 0.7-0.9). The elite rugby league athletes exhibited significantly weaker reflex responses than non-athletes in all four tendons (p < 0.005). Biceps reflexes demonstrated the largest difference and Achilles reflexes the smallest difference. Moderate negative correlations (rS = -0.3-0.6) were observed between reflex responses and lengths of players' careers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Future research is required to further elucidate mechanisms resulting in the observed differences in tendon reflexes and to ensure clinical tendon tap examinations and findings can be interpreted appropriately in this athletic population.

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