Damaged tendons and ligaments are a hazard that any athlete, exercise buff or laborer deals with today, but those days may be changing. Current research has shown a link in tendon discomfort with collagen tears, something that doctors did not think was even possible before a recent study. With this added knowledge, collagen study could pave the way to revealing how to prevent and repair strains and ligament tears faster, better and longer. New and better medications may arise soon and bring the recovery time, or prevention of, such discomfort to new, dramatically low levels.
- It may be possible for athletes to assess possible damage at the building block levels of tissue, long before actual pain erupts.
- This is known because of research conducted by bioengineering professors at the University of Utah.
- Human collagen is composed of strands of protein, pulled into strong and stiff, rope-like braids.
"But now the team discovered that the collagen molecule does in fact get unraveled at a molecular level before complete failure of the tissue occurs. This type of minor damage, called "subfailure damage," is associated with common injuries to connective tissues such as ligament and meniscus tears and various types of tendinitis such as tennis elbow and rotator cuff tendinopathy."