Compression etiology in tendinopathy.
Recent studies have emphasized that the etiology of tendinopathy is not as simple as was once thought. The etiology is likely to be multifactorial. Etiologic factors may include some of the traditional factors such as overuse, inflexibility, and equipment problems; however, other factors need to be considered as well, such as age-related tendon degeneration and biomechanical considerations as outlined in this article. More research is needed to determine the significance of stress-shielding and compression in tendinopathy. If they are confirmed to play a role, this finding may significantly alter our approach in both prevention and in treatment through exercise therapy. The current biomechanical studies indicate that certain joint positions are more likely to place tensile stress on the area of the tendon commonly affected by tendinopathy. These joint positions seem to be different than the traditional positions for stretching exercises used for prevention and rehabilitation of tendinopathic conditions. Incorporation of different joint positions during stretching exercises may exert more uniform, controlled tensile stress on these affected areas of the tendon and avoid stresshielding. These exercises may be able to better maintain the mechanical strength of that region of the tendon and thereby avoid injury. Alternatively, they could more uniformly stress a healing area of the tendon in a controlled manner, and thereby stimulate healing once an injury has occurred. Additional work will have to prove if a change in rehabilitation exercises is more efficacious that current techniques.
Almekinders, LC; Weinhold, PS; Maffulli, N
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