Purpose: Tendon injuries (tendinopathy) are prevalent across the population, affecting active and inactive individuals and manual workers. The aetiology of tendinopathy is not known. However, extrinsic factors such as load are known to affect the prevalence. More recently, intrinsic factors have been shown to also affect tendons; genes, biomechanics, and strength have been shown to influence tendon disease. One intrinsic factor that appears to have an association with tendinopathy is body composition; more specifically central adiposity. Several studies have reported this association, and several studies have found the association when reporting other aspects of tendinopathy.
Method: This paper will detail what is known about the association between tendinopathy and body composition, examine the strength of the association by evaluating studies in the area and speculate on potential mechanisms for the association.
Results: The association between tendon health and adiposity, especially central adiposity, warrants further investigation.
Conclusion: There may be an interaction between adiposity and tendon pathology. Adiposity may be a key intrinsic risk factor that is translated into tendon disease in the presence of additional intrinsic (e.g., diabetes) and extrinsic factors (e.g., load).