chapter  7
27 Pages

Structural adaptation

In response to the loads imposed on the musculoskeletal system as a result of normal everyday physical activity (ranging from activities of daily living to manual labour and training for sport), the musculoskeletal components (muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone) experience strain. A certain level of strain is necessary to ensure normal growth and development, but excessive strain results in abnormal growth and development and injury. Under normal circumstances the musculoskeletal components continuously adapt their external form (size and shape) and internal architecture in response to the time-averaged strain. This chapter describes the eff ects of changes in time-averaged loading on the external form and internal architecture of the musculoskeletal components.