Mechanical loading can influence tendon collagen homeostasis in animal models, while the dynamics of the human adult tendon core tissue are more debatable. Currently available data indicate that human tendon adaptation to loading may happen primarily in the outer tendon region. A role of inflammation in this peritendinous adaptation is supported by a rise in inflammatory mediators in the peritendinous area after physiological mechanical loading in humans. This plays a role in the exercise-induced rise in tendon blood flow and peritendinous collagen synthesis. Although inflammatory activity can activate proteolytic pathways in tendon, mechanical loading can protect against matrix degradation. Acute tendon injury displays an early inflammatory response that seems to be lowered when mechanical loading is applied during regeneration of tendon. Chronically overloaded tendons (tendinopathy) do neither at rest nor after acute exercise display any enhanced inflammatory activity, and thus the basis for using anti-inflammatory medication to treat tendon overuse seems limited.
Journal of Applied Physiology, 2013, Vol 115, Issue 6, p. 879-883
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review