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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy
On-line version ISSN 1809-9246
PEIXINHO, CC et al. Strain and slackness of achilles tendon during passive joint mobilization via imaging ultrasonography. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2008, vol.12, n.5, pp. 366-372. ISSN 1809-9246. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-35552008000500005.
BACKGROUND: In vivo study of the mechanical behavior of tendons may bring advances in evaluating the impact of intervention programs for flexibility and strength, in clinical practice and sports. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to quantify the relative strain and slackness of achilles tendons during passive mobilization, for four ankle joint angles and two knee angles. METHODS: The displacement of the muscle-tendon junction was quantified by means of ultrasound images acquired during passive ankle mobilization, with the aid of an electrogoniometer and an electromyograph to ensure the achievement of the required angles and muscle inactivity, respectively. RESULTS: The strain values ranged from 4.28%±2.37 to -0.94%±1.58 for the fully extended knee, and from 2.38%±1.63 to -2.32%±2.16% for the flexed knee. CONCLUSIONS: The values found in this study confirm those in the literature and demonstrate how the Achilles tendon participates in length changes in the muscle-tendon unit during passive movement. These results suggest that the mechanical properties of tendinous tissues affect the relationship between the length of muscle fibers and the joint angle, even during this type of movement.
Keywords : calcanear tendon; strain; slackness; ultrasonography.