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  • Eccentric Training: Scientific

    and Practical Applications

    Eric Chaconas, PT, DPT, CSCS, FAAOMPT

    Morey J. Kolber, PT, PhD, OCS,CSCS


    Effects of eccentric training

    Pathophysiology of tendinopathy

    Clinical intervention and demonstration

    Dosing, special considerations and cases


    Recall evidence-based implications for incorporating eccentric training into clinical practice.

    Discuss the pathophysiology of painful tendinopathy.

    Examine clinical and basic science research related to eccentric loading for tendinopathy.

    Recognize appropriate eccentric exercise interventions.

  • Eccentric Training

    The lengthening of a muscle tendon unit while

    active, resulting in a negative movement,

    required under conditions of rapid

    deceleration; eccentric forces are required to

    reverse the body's trajectory after a particular

    athletic moveeg, jumping and throwing.

    McGraw-Hill 2002

    Dictionary of Medicine

    NSCA Definition: Eccentric Action

    muscle lengthens because the contractile

    force is less than the resistive force. Forces

    generated within the muscle are less than

    external forces acting on it."

    Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, 2011

    Case 1: Shoulder Pain

    61-year-old male

    1 year gradual onset, lateral shoulder pain

    Painful elevation

    Scapular dyskinesis

    GHJ mobility impairments

    Rotator cuff weakness

  • Case 2: Knee Pain

    36-year -old female

    6 months anterior knee pain

    Running, squatting increase symptoms

    Dynamic valgus

    Impaired trunk control

    Supportive Evidence

    Clinical utility

    Risk factors & injury prevention


    Sport specific & functional applications

    Hormonal & growth factor response





    Evidence for Clinical Prescription

    General conditions with supporting evidence

    Shoulder impingement/tendinopathy/RTC tears

    Lateral epicondylalgia

    Bicep tendinopathy

    Hamstring strains

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome

    Patellar tendinopathy

    Achilles tendinopathy

    Tibialis posterior tendinopathy

  • Outcome-Based Clinical Evidence

    Patellar tendinosis: Ecc vs. Conc pain, satisfaction, sport return, future care

    Achilles tendinosis: Ecc vs. Conc Premorbid activity return (82 vs 36%) & pain

    Tibialis posterior tendinosis: Case series pain & disability, function & strength

    Johnsson et al, Br J Sports Med, 2005

    Mafi et al, Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc, 2001

    Kulig et al, Foot Ankle Int, 2009

    Outcome-Based Clinical Evidence

    Lateral epicondylalgia: Usual vs. Usual + Ecc pain, strength, disability & US improvement

    Shoulder impingement: Case series function & pain

    Shoulder impingement: Usual vs. Usual + Ecc function, pain, surgical decision (OR 7.7)

    Croisier et al, Br J Sports Med, 2007

    Bernhardsson et al, Clin Rehabil, 2011

    Holmgren et al, BMJ, 2012

    Injury Risk & Prevention: Evidence Sprinting athletes: Previous hamstring injury

    Eccentric hamstring weakness despite pain-free

    Elite sprinters: Pre-season screening Eccentric hamstring weakness predicted injury

    Patellofemoral (PFPS): Patients vs. Controls PFPS associated with ecc hip abd/ER torque

    Soccer players: Ecc hamstring vs. Control Ecc training rate of new and recurrent injury

    Volleyball players: Injured vs 2on-Injured Prev. injured shoulder associated w/ecc ER weakness

    Lee et al, Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2009

    Sugiura et al, J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2008

    Boling et al, J Athl Train, 2009

    Petersen et al, AM J Sports Med, 2011

    Wang et al, J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2001; Stickley et al, J Athl Train, 2008

  • Specificity: Sport Performance

    Patellar tendon: Ecc superior to ConSport function

    Throwing sports: Ecc ER key for deceleration

    Single-leg triple long jump & timed 6-m

    single-leg hop scores related to Ecc strength

    Eccentric training vs. traditional jump power, bench press & squat

    Jonsson et al, Br J Sports Med, 2005

    Baldon et al, J Sport Rehabil, 2012

    Escamilla et al, Sports Med, 2009; Burkhart, Arthroscopy, 2003

    Cook et al, J Strength Cond Res, 2012 (e-pub)

    Specificity: Eccentric Needs for Gait

    Contractile Stiffness

    Eccentric training may contractile stiffness

    Implications: Stretch shortening cycle

    o power output & force production from stored

    energy via Series elastic component

    Range of motion

    o No detrimental effect at lower extremity

    o Shoulder: Acute & chronic loss of IR mobility

    o Elbow: acute loss of elbow extension

    Morrissey et al, Clin Rehabil, 2011; Lichtwark et al, J Theor Biol, 2008;Arampatzis et al, J

    Biomech, 2007; Baechle & Earle, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 2008;

    Oyama et al, Clin Biomech, 2011; OSullivan et al,Br J Sports Med, 2012; 2osaka et al, Med

    Sci Sports Exerc, 2002

  • Hypertrophy

    External rotators: Acute cross-sectional area

    5-week quadriceps strengthening: Ecc vs ConcEcc > 2-fold xs area than conc

    Single bout of Ecc training: satellite cells

    Elbow flexor xs area (all fiber types): Ecc > Conc

    20 days Ecc (in vivo): xs area & myostatin

    Oyama et al,Clin Biomech, 2011

    2orrbrand et al, Eur J Appl Physiol, 2008

    Dreyer et al, Muscle & 2erve, 2006

    Vikne et al, Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2006

    Ochi et al, J Strength Cond Res 2011

    What is Myostatin?

    Growth differentiation factor

    Inhibited by overload training & supplements

    Hormonal & Growth Factor Responses

    Myostatin & IGF-MGF in muscle: Ecc > Conc

    20 days training (in vivo): xs area & myostatin

    GH response of Ecc@ 90% 1RM > 70% 1RM

    Ecc training (> 1 bout): myostatin & myogenin

    Ecc training: MGF mRNA found on biopsy

    Conc vs Ecc: IGF mRNA

    Heinemeier et al, J Appl Physiol, 2007

    Ojasto et al, J Strength Cond Res, 2009

    Costa et al, Eur J Appl Physiol, 2007

    Hameed et al, Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2008

    Bamman et al, AM J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2001

    Ochi et al, J Strength Cond Res, 2011

  • Mechanotransduction

    Process whereby body converts mechanical

    loading into a cellular response.

    Cellular response = Change

    Change = Upregulation of cellular DNA

    Protein synthesis

    Autocrine expression of IGF & MGF

    Key attribute = Overload

    Eccentric training


    Modified from: Khan & Scott , Br J Sports Med 2009;43:247-252

    Copyright BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine. All rights reserved.

    C D

    Mechanotransduction rate of collagen synthesis: Achilles tendinosis

    Achilles tendinosis: resembled normal tendon (3.8 yr)

    Lat. Epicondylalgia: Ecc vs Control

    Homogenous appearance w/ thickness in Ecc group

    satellite cell per fiber w/ eccentric training

    intratendinous signal w/Ecc (3 mo & 4.2yr)

    Landberg, Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2007

    Ohberg et al, Br J Sports Med, 2004

    Croisier et al, Br J Sports Med, 2007

    Dreyer et al, Muscle 2erve, 2006

    Gardin et al, Skeletal Radiol, 2010

  • Summary: Eccentric Training

    Clinical utility


    Preventative benefit among athletes

    Eccentric weakness: risk factor for injury

    Functional & Biomechanical


    Corrective: Tendinosis & Potentially muscle


    Pathophysiology and Clinical


    Proposed Model

    Tendon pathology is likely a continuum

    Cook 2009

  • Copyright BMJ All rights reserved.

    Reactive stage

    Tendon thickening



    Courtesy: Hilmir Agustsson MHSc, DPT, MTC, CFC

  • Tendon Disrepair

    An attempt at tendon healing

    Matrix breakdown


    Increased protein production

    Vascularity changes

    Neuronal ingrowth

    Collagen becomes separated and disorganized



    Sharma 2006

  • Disrepair


    Degenerative Tendinopathy

    Cell death, apoptosis

    Matrix destruction

    Likely irreversible and commonly leads to

    tendon tears

  • Buck 2009

    Buck 2009

  • What factors contribute to

    tendon failure?

    Sharma 2006

    Causative Mechanisms

    Chronic overload


    Overload with tissue breakdown

    Shear, compression

    Unloaded tissue


    Not necessarily age dependent Cook 2000

    Risk Factors:

    Adiposity BMI >30 Gaida 2009

    Metabolic alterations dislipidemia

    Diabetes Holmes 2006

    Genetic Mokone 2005

  • Can these tissues heal?

    Extrinsic / Intrinsic

    Kaux 2012

    De Vos 2012

    Knobloch 2007

    Other Interventions

    Eccentric Intervention Prescription

    Patient/client selection


    Load, intensity, volume, & frequency

    Specific dosage strategies

    Specific exercises

    Lower quarter

    Upper quarter

    Eccentric Prescription

    Single most important factor for prescription?