DETERMINING AN EFFECTIVE STRETCHING TIME FOR ACHILLES TENDON EXTENSION

  • H. Kanazawa
  • Y. Urabe
  • H. Iwamoto
  • T. Shirakawa
Keywords: stretching, Achilles tendon extension, ultrasonography.

Abstract

Stretching exercises are commonly undertaken for sports and rehabilitation. However, it is unknown how an in vivo muscle-tendon unit responds to added stretching stimulation. The purpose of this study was to determine an effective stretching time for Achilles tendon extension. The human medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle was stretched and ultrasonography was used to determine and then compare the length of the Achilles tendon between before and after stretching. Achilles tendon extension for one minute of stretching was 3.4±2.5mm, two 6.8±2.1mm, three 6.9±1.0mm, five 7.2±0.7mm, and ten 7.4±0.8mm. Achilles tendon length was significantly increased for up to two minutes of stretching (p<0.01). However, there were no significant differences for stretching for three or more minutes. From these results, we conclude that two minutes of static stretching is effective for Achilles tendon extension.