Achilles tendinopathy is a very common disorder many competitive and recreational athletes are confronted with at some point. The rate of Achilles tendon injuries in runners is reported to be 10 times higher than in age-matched controls. With many people taking up their New Year’s resolutions we can expect a surge in such disorders in our practices. TMG100 tensiomyography is a very efficient muscle diagnostic tool that can provide important insights to the clinician in the prevention and management of Achilles tendinopathy.
Functional biomechanical deficits among which muscle inflexibilities, weakness and imbalances cause inefficient mechanics that affect function. They are important contributors the development or continuation of Achilles tendinopathy symptoms. In addition, suboptimal functional adaptations to training lead to faulty adjustments in healthy function which leads to excessive tensile or eccentric stresses on the tendon.
In both starting recreational runners and competitive athletes, TMG100 tensiomyography can firstly be used to determine a baseline status of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. A comparison between left and right triceps surae can be made to determine bilateral symmetry, which can give a first indication of the state of biomechanics in the individual. Secondly, baseline values can be compared to TMG100’s proprietary database of reference values in order to provide healthy training or therapeutic goals. Based on this comparison specific supplemental exercises can be provided in order to reduce the risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy. Even more, TMG100 software includes a functional balance algorithm between the lateral and medial gastrocnemius heads which can be interpreted by the clinician. Large imbalances will further increase the risk of developing achillotendinopathy.
TMG100 tensiomyography offers the ability to quickly, objectively and selectively assess muscles that may contribute to the development or continuation of Achilles tendinopathy. It can even be engaged to verify and evaluate the positive effects of various therapeutic modalities, e.g. orthotics, taping techniques, that seek to decrease risk or improve symptoms. It is the ideal tool to at this point, when so many people will start taking up running, to provide baseline measures upon which guidelines can be provided for additional exercises or even choice of footwear and advice in running technique. Continuous follow up of muscle adaptation to training will allow the clinician to pick up on negative changes that may lead to the development of Achilles tendinopathy.