Can BIVA indicate when athletes are ready to return to action?

  • Written by  L Nescolarde, J Yanguas, H Lukaski, X Alomar, J Rosell-Ferrer and G Rodas

Localized bioimpedance to assess muscle injury”
L Nescolarde, J Yanguas, H Lukaski, X Alomar, J Rosell-Ferrer and G Rodas
Physiol Meas. 2013 Feb; 34(2): 237-45. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/34/2/237

In sports medicine, assessment of the severity of an athlete’s muscle injury and readiness for return-to-play are important concerns. Researchers in Spain and the United States examined the role of localized bioimpedance vector analysis (BIVA) in managing lower limb muscle injury in professional football (soccer) players.

Male footballers from Futbol Club Barcelona underwent BIVA of their lower limb skeletal muscles, at rest. A 50 kHz, tetrapolar phase-sensitive device (BIA-101, Akern) was used. When these athletes suffered lower limb muscle damage, the injuries were characterized and graded for severity according to results of 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging. BIVA of the injured muscle was performed 24 h after injury and during the recovery period. Three such athletes, one each with grade I, II, and III severity injuries, were analyzed for this study.

The analysis showed that injury displaced the bioimpedance vector from its healthy preinjury position, with reductions in both resistance (R) and reactance (Xc). Over the course of recovery, these values gradually returned to near-normal, so that the bioimpedance vector at return-to-play was almost in its original position. The authors concluded by noting that their “preliminary findings indicate the prognostic value of localized BIA to identify common injuries in football and to characterize the severity of the injury. It is a practical method for field assessment of muscle injuries and could be an alternative method to monitor recovery and contribute to clearance to return-to-play.”


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