Is it possible to make tendons stronger?

N-now th-that that don't kill me, can only make me stronger...

31st July 2017
Is it possible to make tendons stronger? (Getty)

Asked by: Yasmin Caine, Cheshire

Tendons are connective tissue structures that attach muscles to bones, allowing us to move our joints. They consist mainly of collagen strands, twisted together to give fibres, which in turn form bundles. Their 3D structure allows them to withstand forces pulling in different directions. Tendons are remarkably strong but prone to injury. Resistance exercise can strengthen tendons, although they take longer to respond than muscles. Studies on mice with mini-treadmills has shown that exercise increases collagen turnover in tendons, as well as encouraging blood flow. Unfortunately, research suggests that the collagen-boosting effects of exercise are less prominent in women than in men.

Read more: 


SFQASubscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.