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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2011 Jun;21(3):499-505. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2010.11.010. Epub 2011 Jan 8.

Comparison in lower leg neuromuscular activity between runners with unilateral mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy and healthy individuals.

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University Outpatient Clinic, Sports Medicine and Sports Orthopaedics, University of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10 - Haus 12, 14469 Potsdam, Germany.


Neuromuscular control in functional situations and possible impairments due to Achilles tendinopathy are not well understood. Thirty controls (CO) and 30 runners with Achilles tendinopathy (AT) were tested on a treadmill at 3.33 ms(-1) (12 km h(-1)). Neuromuscular activity of the lower leg (tibialis anterior, peroneal, and gastrocnemius muscle) was measured by surface electromyography. Mean amplitude values (MAV) for the gait cycle phases preactivation, weight acceptance and push-off were calculated and normalised to the mean activity of the entire gait cycle. MAVs of the tibialis anterior did not differ between CO and AT in any gait cycle phase. The activation of the peroneal muscle was lower in AT in weight acceptance (p=0.006), whereas no difference between CO and AT was found in preactivation (p=0.71) and push-off (p=0.83). Also, MAVs of the gastrocnemius muscle did not differ between AT and CO in preactivity (p=0.71) but were reduced in AT during weight acceptance (p=0.001) and push-off (p=0.04). Achilles tendinopathy does not seem to alter pre-programmed neural control but might induce mechanical deficits of the lower extremity during weight bearing (joint stability). This should be addressed in the therapy process of AT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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