JC's Musings

Extensibility vs Elasticity: Know the Difference?

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So, do you know the difference? Well to be honest it is a little confusing as there is a lack of consistency in the literature. Some studies use the term elasticity to describe the extensibility of tissue. Others use flexibility, extensibility, and compliance interchangeably.

I’d like to write a series of posts on these muscle qualities, so let’s get into the weeds and define them, so we are all on the same page going forward.

Elasticity refers to the property of a tissue to return or reverse to its original shape once the force is removed and is usually symbolised by a zig-zag icon denoting spring like qualities as shown in the diagram. Extensibility on the other hand means the ability of a tissue to extend with no implication to returning or reversing to its original shape or length.

What tissues are extensible and/or elastic? How do we measure these qualities? What are optimal methods to train extensibility vs elasticity?

Stay tuned.