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New regimen for eccentric calf-muscle training in patients with chronic insertional Achilles tendinopathy: results of a pilot study
  1. P Jonsson1,
  2. H Alfredson1,
  3. K Sunding2,
  4. M Fahlström3,
  5. J Cook4
  1. 1
    Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  2. 2
    Capio Artro Clinic, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3
    Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  4. 4
    Musculoskeletal Health School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
  1. Per Jonsson, RPT, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden; per.jonsson{at}idrott.umu.se

Abstract

Background: Chronic painful insertional Achilles tendinopathy is seen in both physically active and non-active individuals. Painful eccentric training, where the patients load the Achilles tendon into full dorsiflexion, has shown good results in patients with mid-portion Achilles tendinosis. However, only 32% of patients with insertional Achilles tendinopathy had good clinical results with that type of eccentric training regimen.

Aim: To investigate whether a new model of painful eccentric training had an effect on chronic painful insertional Achilles tendinopathy.

Patients and methods: 27 patients (12 men, 15 women, mean age 53 years) with a total of 34 painful Achilles tendons with a long duration of pain (mean 26 months), diagnosed as insertional Achilles tendinopathy, were included. The patients performed a new model of painful eccentric training regimen without loading into dorsiflexion. This was done as 3×15 reps, twice a day, 7 days/week, for 12 weeks. Pain during Achilles-tendon-loading activity (VAS) and patient’s satisfaction (back to previous activity) were evaluated.

Results: At follow-up (mean 4 months) 18 patients (67%, 23/34 tendons) were satisfied and back to their previous tendon-loading activity. Their mean VAS had decreased from 69.9 (SD 18.9) to 21 (SD 20.6) (p<0.001). Nine patients (11 tendons) were not satisfied with the treatment, although their VAS was significantly reduced from 77.5 (8.6) to 58.1 (14.8) (p<0.01).

Conclusion: In this short-term pilot study this new model of painful eccentric calf-muscle training showed promising clinical results in 67% of the patients.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained from the Medical Faculty, University of Umeå.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

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