An interesting new paper from Andy Cresswell's respected research team at the University of Queensland proposes a plausible cause/effect of energy absorption within the tendon of tibialis posterior.
Subtalar Joint Pronation and Energy Absorption Requirements During Walking are Related to Tibialis Posterior Tendinous Tissue Strain, Maharaj et al 2017, Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 17958
During human walking, the tibialis posterior (TP) tendon absorbs energy in early stance as the subtalar joint (STJ) pronates. However, it remains unclear whether an increase in energy absorption between individuals, possibly a result of larger STJ pronation displacement, is fulfilled by greater magnitudes of TP tendon or muscle fascicle strain. By collecting direct measurements of muscle fascicle length (ultrasound), MTU length (3D motion capture and musculoskeletal modelling), and TP muscle activation (intramuscular electromyography) we endeavoured to illustrate that the TP tendinous tissue fulfils the requirements for energy absorption at the STJ as a result of an increase in muscle force production. While a significant relationship between TP tendon strain, energy absorption at the STJ (R2 = 0.53, P = < 0.01) and STJ pronation (R2 = 0.53, P = < 0.01) was evident, we failed to find any significant associations between tendon strain and surrogate measure of TP muscle force (TP muscle activation together with ankle and subtalar joint moments). These results suggest that TP tendon compliance may explain the variance in pronation and energy absorption at the STJ.
Therefore, as the tendinous tissue of the TP is accountable for the absorption of energy at the STJ it may be predisposed to strain-induced injury.
Full paper may be acccessed here
Director of Bartold Gold
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