Taking a Deeper Dive Into the Different Load Types

There are three main types of tendon loads that can apply to various parts of the body, but below, I will focus on lower extremity tendons such as the achilles, patella tendon (which is different than quad tendon!) and the hamstring tendon:

Tensile Load: This load represents the storage and release of energy by the tendon in a spring-like fashion. Jumping is a good example of tensile loading in the patellar tendon. Overloading this tendon is very common as players ramp up for pre-season or within the younger male athletic population.

Compressive Load: Compressive loading represents vertical forces applied by a bone on the tendon. Achilles tendon contraction from a fully dorsiflexed ankle position is a good example of compressive loading, as the calcaneal tuberosity applies a compression-like load on the achilles tendon. Overloading this tendon is often seen when training programs overload powerful movements from a dorsiflexed ankle, such as overdoing acceleration drills. We also see compressive loading with an increase in uphill running.

Read more about the different types of loads and understanding the stages of Tendinopathy on PierreSoubrierHPF.com