A study using groups of sedentary and resistance-trained rats provides evidence suggesting that resistance training may help prevent age-related tendon problems, such as ruptures and tendinopathies.

“To restrain and revert the deleterious aging process, resistance training can be used as an important tool to prevent degeneration and even restore tendon functions,” says Rita de Cassia Marqueti Durigan, PhD, a researcher from the Rehabilitation Science Program, University of Brasilia, in Brasilia, Brazil, who is among the research team who conducted the study, in a media release from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Four groups of rats were used in the study: 1) young sedentary, three months old; 2) young trained, three months old; 3) old sedentary, 21 months old; and 4) old trained, 21 months old.

The sedentary rats did not perform any resistance training. The trained rats climbed a vertical ladder three times for 12 weeks, bearing progressive loads comprising 65%, 85%, 95%, and 100% of their maximum carrying capacity.

After the 12-week training period, the researchers euthanized the animals to remove the calcaneal tendon tissue. They then performed several assays (biochemical, histological, immunohistochemical, and molecular) to evaluate the effects of resistance training on the molecular and cellular aspects of the calcaneal tendon in young and old rats and their implications for tendon remodeling, the release continues.

“It seems very plausible that the findings from this well-designed study are applicable to the comparable human situation, so the clinical potential is very signficiant,” said Thoru Pederson, PhD, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, in which the study was published.

[Source(s): Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Science Daily]