Relationship between thermography and maximum isometric strength in soccer players
Did you know that hamstring muscle injuries are very common in soccer players? Have you ever wondered if there is a relationship between thermal asymmetries in these muscles and asymmetries in muscle strength? We address this question in this article.
Injuries to the hamstring muscles are common in sports that involve explosive movements and changes of direction, such as soccer. These injuries can occur due to a combination of factors, such as muscle imbalances, lack of flexibility, muscle fatigue, poor running technique, and inadequate warm-up, among others.
Recently, ThermoHuman participated in AIIIMA (Artificial Intelligence over Infrared Images for Medical Applications) with the leading experts in thermography.
Escamilla-Galindo et al., (2023) conducted a study with 31 amateur soccer players for a pre-training assessment. They were instructed to present themselves in a baseline state without having trained in the last 24 hours, without consuming coffee, alcohol, or tobacco, and without applying any topical skin treatments. In this research, infrared thermography was used to measure skin temperature in the posterior thigh region, and an isometric test was performed to assess the strength of the hamstring muscles. To investigate the relationship between thermal asymmetries and muscle strength, a Pearson correlation test was conducted.
Thermography in soccer players
As we have explained in other entries on our blog, thermal asymmetries assessed through infrared thermography can provide information about possible muscle imbalances in the hamstrings. Thermography can detect differences in skin temperature between different body regions, which may indicate imbalances in blood circulation and muscle metabolism. These thermal asymmetries can be an indicator of potential muscle imbalances and an increased risk of injuries.
Additionally, the assessment of muscle strength through isometric tests can provide information about the ability of the hamstring muscles to generate force in a balanced manner. Isometric tests evaluate muscle strength in a static contraction and can detect asymmetries between limbs.
Is there a correlation between thermography and strength assessment? Study Results
The study results indicated that there was no significant correlation between thermal asymmetries assessed through infrared thermography and asymmetries obtained through the isometric test to evaluate the hamstring muscles in amateur soccer players. This suggests that both tests should be conducted independently to obtain complementary information about soccer players
- According to the results, it is suggested that both tests should be conducted independently to obtain complementary information about the players.
- Thermography provides information about the thermal condition of tissues and can help identify imbalances and potential muscle conditions, while isometric tests evaluate the ability to produce strength and detect asymmetries in muscle strength.
- It is important to consider that the ability to produce strength depends not only on the local state of the muscle tissue but also on neuromuscular coordination variables and other factors.
- All of this has implications for the evaluation of musculoskeletal health in athletes, and it seems necessary to use different tests to obtain a more comprehensive view of muscle function.
Gómez-Carmona, P., Fernández-Cuevas, I., Sillero-Quintana, M., Arnaiz-Lastras, J., & Navandar, A. (2020). Infrared thermography protocol on reducing the incidence of soccer injuries. Journal of sport rehabilitation, 29(8), 1222-1227.
Escamilla-Galindo, V., Brunsó, G., Barceló i Lopez, R., Madruga-Parera, M., & Fernández-Cuevas, I. (2023). Relationship Between Thermography Assessment and Hamstring Isometric Test in Amateur Soccer Players. In MICCAI Workshop on Artificial Intelligence over Infrared Images for Medical Applications (pp. 101-108)
Requena-Bueno, L., Priego-Quesada, J. I., Jimenez-Perez, I., Gil-Calvo, M., & Pérez-Soriano, P. (2020). Validation of ThermoHuman automatic thermographic software for assessing foot temperature before and after running. Journal of Thermal Biology, 92, 102639.
Thorpe, R. T. (2021). Post-exercise recovery: Cooling and heating, a periodized approach. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 3, 707503.