PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF SLEDGE REACTION FORCES DURING CYCLICAL LOADING OF THE TRICEPS SURAE

  • Laura-Anne M. Furlong
  • Andrew J. Harrison
Keywords: biomechanics, Achilles tendon, tendon mechanics, ultrasound, stiffness

Abstract

To date, no methodology exists that can measure Achilles tendon stiffness in a controlled dynamic situation while simultaneously investigating tendon and joint stiffness interactions. Stiffness refers to the ratio between force and elongation, and the aim of this preliminary study was to establish an analysis protocol for sledge reaction forces during cyclical loading of the triceps surae. Results indicated the magnitude of forces was just under 50% of body weight, which was expected. Removal of the first two trials from analysis reduced standard deviation and 95% confidence interval of plantarflexor force, contact time and contact time-flight time ratio, suggesting this protocol is suitable to ensure data gathered is repeatable and consistent. Future work using inverse dynamics and ultrasound shall provide information on Achilles tendon loading and stiffness.