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PeerJ. 2017 May 25;5:e3388. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3388. eCollection 2017.

Infrared thermography applied to lower limb muscles in elite soccer players with functional ankle equinus and non-equinus condition.

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Physical Therapy & Health Sciences Research Group; Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Health, Exercise and Sport, European University, Madrid, Spain.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain.
Research, Health and Podiatry Unit, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Nursing and Podiatry, Universidade da Coruña, Ferrol, Spain.
Nursing and Physical Therapy Department, Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED), Universidad de León, León, Spain.
University Center of Plasencia, Universidad de Extremadura, Plasencia, Spain.
School of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Podiatry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


Gastrocnemius-soleus equinus (GSE) is a foot-ankle complaint in which the extensibility of the gastrocnemius (G) and soleus muscles (triceps surae) and ankle are limited to a dorsiflexion beyond a neutral ankle position. The asymmetric forces of leg muscles and the associated asymmetric loading forces might promote major activation of the triceps surae, tibialis anterior, transverses abdominal and multifidus muscles. Here, we made infrared recordings of 21 sportsmen (elite professional soccer players) before activity and after 30 min of running. These recordings were used to assess temperature modifications on the gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, and Achilles tendon in GSE and non-GSE participants. We identified significant temperature modifications among GSE and non-GSE participants for the tibialis anterior muscle (mean, minimum, and maximum temperature values). The cutaneous temperature increased as a direct consequence of muscle activity in GSE participants. IR imaging capture was reliable to muscle pattern activation for lower limb. Based on our findings, we propose that non-invasive IR evaluation is suitable for clinical evaluation of the status of these muscles.


Ankle; Foot; Sport; Thermography

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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