With so many athletes as part of The Injury Clinic, we see injured participants from across all areas of sport. In fact, 70% of time away from sport is caused by musculoskeletal injuries!
A factor in this can be our fairly basic understanding on how training will alter our tendon and ligament structure and function. Tendon health and strength are very important to take some of that stress away from our muscles to avoid injury, and proper training in our rehab can speed up our return to play!
In this popular study amongst strength coaches worldwide, we explore the effects on training strategies and nutrition on laboratory made tendons and ligaments.
Baar K. (2017). Minimizing Injury and Maximizing Return to Play: Lessons from Engineered Ligaments. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 47(Suppl 1), 5–11.
After exposing the lab samples to training, the tendons/ligaments expressed a very fast adaption, becoming refractory to exercise after 10 minutes.
The tissues were then able to be training again in 6 hours. This means that we can potentially perform 3x >10min sessions a day to maximise our tendon health and performance.
Collagen synthesis is a key component to our tendon recovery. Collagen enriched amino acids and vitamin C have shown to have a strong positive effect on collagen synthesis, while the main components of collagen are also rich in Gelatin.
Blood flow is reduced to tendon/ligaments during exercise, so any nutritional intervention will be most effective when used before or after sessions.
In this trial, the intermittent activity protocol group of engineered tendons produced more collagen than those that were trained continuously.
Limited range of motion exercises with light weight will provide an effective collagen synthesis in regenerating/developing tendon/ligament. This suggests that the faster we begin training after injury the better.
An inhibition of this important synthesis was experienced when an estrogen surge was introduced.
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