Date of this Version


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.

Access the journal

© The Author(s). 2016

Distribution License

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





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


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.


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.


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.



This document has been peer reviewed.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.