Overweight and obesity alters the cumulative transverse strain in the Achilles tendon immediately following exercise

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Journal Article

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Wearing, S. C., Hooper, S. L., Grigg, N. L., Nolan, G., & Smeathers, J. E. (2013). Overweight and obesity alters the cumulativetransverse strain in the Achilles tendon immediately following exercise. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 17(3), 316-321.

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© Copyright Elsevier, 2013

2013 HERDC Submission. FoR code: 110601;110604;110314




This research evaluated the effect of obesity on the acute cumulative transverse strain of the Achilles tendon in response to exercise. Twenty healthy adult males were categorized into 'low normal-weight' (BMI <23kgm-2) and 'overweight' (BMI 27.5kgm-2) groups based on intermediate cut-off points recommended by the World Health Organization. Longitudinal sonograms of the right Achilles tendon were acquired immediately prior and following weight-bearing ankle exercises. Achilles tendon thickness was measured 20-mm proximal to the calcaneal insertion and transverse tendon strain was calculated as the natural log of the ratio of post- to pre-exercise tendon thickness. The Achilles tendon was thicker in the overweight group both prior to (t18=-2.91, P=0.009) and following (t18=-4.87, P<0.001) exercise. The acute transverse strain response of the Achilles tendon in the overweight group (-10.7±2.5%), however, was almost half that of the 'low normal-weight' (-19.5±7.4%) group (t18=-3.56, P=0.004). These findings suggest that obesity is associated with structural changes in tendon that impairs intra-tendinous fluid movement in response to load and provides new insights into the link between tendon pathology and overweight and obesity.

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