Limited information is available on site-specific features of muscle stiffness and aponeurosis strain of the biceps femoris long head (BFlh) during contractions. Therefore, understanding of the mechanics and etiology of hamstring strain injuries remains difficult. As a first step to gain further insight into them, the present study aimed to identify whether active muscle stiffness and proximal aponeurosis strain during contractions are varied along the long axis of the BFlh. The BFlh muscle shear wave speed (proxy for stiffness) was measured in the proximal, central, and distal sites during 20%, 50%, and 80% of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) of knee flexion exerted with the hip and knee joints flexed at 40° and 30°, respectively, using ultrasound shear wave elastography. Further, a segmental strain of the BFlh proximal aponeurosis was assessed in the proximal, central, and distal sites during isometric knee flexion, using B-mode ultrasonography. The shear wave speed was significantly higher in the distal site than the proximal and central sites at 20% MVC (p ≤.002, with a large effect size), whereas no significant difference was found between the three sites at 50% and 80% MVC. The BFlh proximal aponeurosis strain showed no significant difference between the proximal, central, and distal sites at any contraction intensity. These findings indicate that site-specific differences in muscle stiffness and proximal aponeurosis strain are substantially small and that muscle stiffness and proximal aponeurosis strain of the BFlh at moderate-to-high contraction intensity is not exceptional in the site where a sprinting-type hamstring strain typically occurs.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports|
|Publication status||Published - 2021 Aug|
- muscle strain injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation