Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 358 - 363

Research article
The Achilles Tendon Response to a Bout of Running is not affected by Triceps Surae Stretch Training in Runners
Coulter D. Neves, Joshua K. Sponbeck, Katy Andrews Neves, Ulrike H. Mitchell, Iain Hunter, Aaron Wayne Johnson 
Author Information
Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA

Aaron Wayne Johnson
‚úČ PhD, PT Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University 266 Smith Fieldhouse, Provo, UT 84602
Email: wayne_johnson@byu.edu
Publish Date
Received: 24-12-2019
Accepted: 09-02-2020
Published (online): 01-05-2020
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ABSTRACT

An acute bout of distance running decreases Achilles tendon CSA. The purpose of this study was to examine if three-week stretch training of the Achilles tendon alters the Achilles tendon thinning response to running. Thirty-three recreational runners were divided into a control group (n = 17) and an intervention group (n = 16). The intervention included a three-week soleus stretch (knee flexed) and gastrocnemius stretch (knee extended). Three gastrocnemius stretches and three soleus stretches were performed each day, six days per week. Stretches were held for 30 s per repetition for a total duration of 180 s per leg per day. Achilles tendon CSA and range of motion measures were completed pre and post-run before and after the three-week stretching intervention. The runs prior to and following the three-week stretch training intervention both resulted in a 6% decrease in Achilles tendon CSA (p < 0.0001). There was no interaction across time between control and intervention groups in CSA (p = 0.446). Only the intervention group experienced a significant increase in dorsiflexion range of motion following the stretch training (p = 0.009). We therefore conclude that even when an increased dorsiflexion range of motion occurs, three weeks of triceps surae stretching does not alter the response of the Achilles tendon CSA.

Key words: Cross sectional area, ultrasound imaging, dorsiflexion range of motion


           Key Points
  • Achilles tendon cross-sectional area does not change following a three-week triceps surae stretching protocol in recreational runners.
  • Achilles tendon cross-sectional area significantly decreases following running.
  • A three-week triceps surae stretching protocol is effective for increasing dorsiflexion range of motion.
 
 
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