TitlePatellar tendon straps decrease pre-landing quadriceps activation in males with patellar tendinopathy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRosen, AB, Ko, J, Simpson, KJ, Brown, CN
JournalPhys Ther Sport
Date Published2017 Mar
KeywordsBiomechanical Phenomena, Braces, Case-Control Studies, Electromyography, Humans, Male, Patellar Ligament, Tendinopathy, Young Adult

OBJECTIVE: To determine if patellar tendon straps altered quadriceps' muscle activity during a drop-jump landing in males with and without patellar tendinopathy.

DESIGN: Case-control.

SETTINGS: Biomechanics Research Laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty recreationally-active males participated: ten (age = 21.3 ± 2.4 years, height = 182.8 ± 5.3 cm, mass = 81.7 ± 8.6 kg) with patellar tendinopathy; ten (age = 22.0 ± 1.6 years, height = 185.7 ± 4.5 cm, mass = 82.2 ± 9.8 kg) were healthy with no history of tendinopathy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Electromyography (EMG) data for the vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF), and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles were collected. Five 2-legged 40 cm drop-jumps were performed wearing a patellar tendon strap and 5 with no-strap in a counterbalanced order. Root-mean square EMG (REMG) values of the VM, RF, and VL were averaged for a pre-landing and post-landing interval. Multiple mixed-model two-way ANOVAs were performed to determine the effect of tendinopathy and strapping condition on REMG values for each muscle.

RESULTS: For the pre-landing interval, all participants displayed lesser VL EMG activation (0.44 ± 0.19%, 0.53 ± 0.27%, respectively; p = 0.007, d = 0.39) in the no-strap compared with the strap condition.

CONCLUSIONS: When wearing a strap, all participants demonstrated lower VL activation prior to landing which may be helpful in reducing tensile stress at the tendon. These effects may be clinically important in modulating pain in those with patellar tendinopathy.

Alternate JournalPhys Ther Sport
PubMed ID28160657