Mechanism of Injury

Muscle and tendon injuries occur from repetitive microtrauma or a single traumatic event that causes overload to the tensile strength of the myotendinous unit or muscle fiber itself. Eccentric loads, produced when the muscle is contracting and lengthening at the same time, are a common mechanism of injury and can produce higher forces compared with concentric contractions (Stanton and Purdam, 1989). Sports activities with repetitive eccentric demands place the athlete at higher risk of injury. In sprinters, for example, hamstring muscle strains typically occur during the late swing phase of the running cycle as the hamstring muscle contracts while lengthening in an attempt to decelerate the lower leg in preparation for foot strike (Stanton and Purdam, 1989). Achilles tendinopathy and patellar tendinopathy (jumper's knee)

also result from repetitive eccentric loading of the tendons during running and jumping.

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