Loading intervention is currently the preferred management of tendinopathy, but to what extent different loading regimes influence the mechanical response in tendons is scarcely investigated. Therefore, the purposes of the investigation were to examine the effect of exercise interventions with either high or low load magnitude applied to the tendinopathic patellar tendon and the influence on its mechanical, material, and morphological properties. Forty-four men with chronic patellar tendinopathy were randomized to 12 weeks of exercising with either; 55% of 1RM throughout the period (MSR group) or 90% of 1RM (HSR group), and with equal total exercise volume in both groups. Mechanical (stiffness), material (T2* relaxation time), and morphological (cross-sectional area (CSA)) properties were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks of intervention. MRI with ultra-short echo times (UTE) and T2*-mapping was applied to explore if T2* relaxation time could be used as a noninvasive marker for internal material alteration and early change thereof in response to intervention. There was no effect of HSR or MSR on the mechanical (stiffness), material (T2* relaxation time) or morphological (CSA) properties, but both regimes resulted in significant strength gain. In conclusion, there were no statistically superior effect of exercising with high (90%) compared to moderate (55%) load magnitude on the mechanical, material or morphological properties.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1981-1990
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy/methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patellar Ligament/diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tendinopathy/diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult


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