JC's Musings

Connective Tissue and Function

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Have you noticed as we age we typically lose our springiness and we start becoming stiffer? One of the major reasons for this is the change in the quality of our connective tissues. In young people the structure of this tissue is typically a two directional lattice arrangement. However, with aging and/or disuse the connective tissue architecture takes on a more haphazard and multidirectional arrangement as stylised in the figure adapted from Schleip, 2012.

So what is happening here to cause this change in architecture and does it affect function? In sum, with aging/inactivity/disuse the connective tissue network loses its tensile strength, and ability to elongate and store elastic energy – elasticity, as fibres do not glide against one another as they once did. Instead with the longitudinal and perpendicular/cross-link thickening, fibres become stuck together forming tissue adhesions, and in fact can become matted together. Can we change architecture and function as we age and maintain our elasticity? Sure can!

Want to find out more about optimising strength and power from both a rehab and performance connective tissue perspective? Then register for my course now! Course begins 14th June! https://lnkd.in/gnHfEGS