Thermal Effects on Bovine-Tendon Elasticity: Implications for Provocative Elongation Techniques

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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To explore changes in bovine Achilles-tendon elasticity relative to 3 thermal conditions.

Design and Setting:

Posttest-only design with assignment by convenience. Manufactured-apparatus-clamped excised tendon, delivered tensile stress, and provided strain measures. Stress was increased at 1-minute intervals. Strain was observed for each level of stress. Before testing, cold-group tendons were submerged in cold water for 20 minutes. Heat-group tendons were tested in the presence of an ultraviolet lamp. A third group of tendons was tested at room temperature.


Frozen bovine Achilles tendons provided by a meat-rendering factory and segmented into 3 longitudinal strips.


Stress and strain were sequentially measured. Elastic region was identified, elastic-region Young's modulus determined, and elastic limit calculated.


Young's modulus for cold was 0.956 gigapascal (GPa; ± 0.0621); room temperature, 0.753 GPa (± 0.0624); and heat group, 0.487 GPa (± 0.0407). Significant differences were identified between each of the 3 conditions.


A direct relationship was observed between imposed thermal energy and tendon elasticity. Thermal energy does not affect the elastic limit.

Winters is with the Dept of Physical Education, and Doty and Newell, the Dept of Physics, Denison University, Granville, OH 43023.

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