Int J Sports Med 2013; 34(12): 1070-1073
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1345130
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Biomechanical and Structural Parameters of Tendons in Rats Subjected to Swimming Exercise

M. A. Bezerra
1   UFPE, Fisioterapia, Recife, Brazil
K. D. Santos de Lira
2   Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
M. P. G. Coutinho
2   Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
G. N. de Mesquita
2   Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
K. A. Novaes
2   Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
R. T. B. da Silva
2   Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
A. K. de Brito Nascimento
2   Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
M. F. H. B. Inácio Teixeira
3   Chemical Engineering, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
S. R. A. Moraes
4   Anatomy Department, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 14 March 2013

Publication Date:
05 June 2013 (online)


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of swimming exercise, without overloading, on the biomechanical parameters of the calcaneal tendon of rats. 27 male Wistar rats (70 days) were distributed randomly into 2 groups, Control Group (CG; n=15) with restricted movements inside the cage and Swimming Group (SG; n=12), subjected to exercise training in a tank with a water temperature of 30±1°C, for 1 h/day, 5 days/week for 8 weeks. All animals were kept in a reversed light/dark cycle of 12 h with access to food and water ad libitum. After that, they were anesthetized and had their calcaneus tendons collected from their left rear paws. The tendon was submitted to a mechanical test on a conventional test machine. From the stress vs. strain curve, the biomechanical data were analyzed. For the statistical analysis, the Student-T test was used (p<0.05). Of the variables examined, the maximum tension (p=0.009), maximum force (p=0.03), energy of deformation/tendon cross sectional area (p=0.017) and elastic modulus of the tendon (p=0.013) showed positive outcomes in SG. There was no difference in the other parameters. The results indicate that the swimming exercise training, without overloading, was an important stimulus for improving the biomechanical parameters and structural properties of the calcaneal tendon.

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