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Influence of Static Stretching on Viscoelastic Properties of Human Tendon Structures

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, May 30, 2006.

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    Here is an interesting article from the Journal of Applied Physiology that may stimulate further discussion on tissue mechanics, hysteresis and the role of tendon stiffness in gastrocnemius-soleus equinus evaluation.

    Influence of static stretching on viscoelastic properties of human tendon structures in vivo


  2. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Thanks Kevin - I missed that one.

    I trying hard (and failing) to measure stiffness rather then range of motion at the ankle joint clinically. Can measure it with instrumentation. ie range of motion at each increment of force applied (in Newtons) to dorsiflex ankle. While can derive a force/degree curve for each ankle - I just find it hard to manualy detect the differences when I do it by hand.

    For eg - take two ankles that appear to only have 10 degrees of dorsiflexion, but one requires a lot more force to get it to its 10 degrees (ie has a different shape to the force/degree curve). When I take away the instruments and do it by "feel" - it is extremely difficult to detect the differences, unless they extreme .... back to the drawing board as I think this will be very important for us --- the feet with different force/degree curves must function very differently (thats the next project).

    This is where the lunge test may come into it and may be more associated with ankle stiffness than ROM, compared to our traditional technique.
  4. Craig:

    Why not try adding a long lever-type platform to the plantar foot (maybe a shoe type rig with a rigid platform that is attached to the sole of the shoe and extends about 12 inches past the toes) so that you will be able to use lesser manual force (at the distal end of the platform) to achieve greater degrees of ankle joint dorsiflexion when doing the manual measurements. This simple device may "amplify" the ability of the examiner to better "feel" when a subject has a different shape to their ankle joint dorsiflexion load-deformation curve.

    I've never attempted making or using a device such as this yet, but it makes good mechanical sense. I guess this is somewhat similar to how the STJ Axis Locator got started: it began as a idea over 10 years ago that made good mechanical sense and just needed the right person to see it be properly developed into a useful instrument.
  5. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    We currently use a hinged platform like what you descibe to use the force gauge on --- its just when I take the gauge away and use my hands - I can't "feel" the differences --- they are too subtle.

    BUT, you may be right about extending the platform.

    A physiotherapist showed me how to look at range-of-motion vs stiffness in the shoulder joint --- when I do this I can "feel" the different stiffness's in shoulders of people with the same range of motion --- maybe the reason is due to the larger lever arm (ie the length of the arm).

  6. "Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the world."
    -Archimedes, 230 BC

    A lever long enough will also move a stiff ankle very nicely.
    Last edited: May 31, 2006

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