Article Text

other Versions

Eccentric Loading for Achilles Tendinopathy – Strengthening or stretching?
  1. Garry T Allison (g.allison{at}
  1. Curtin University, Australia
    1. Craig Purdam
    1. Australian Institute of Sport, Australia


      The prescription of eccentric loading is considered as a mainstay of non-operative rehabilitation programs for mid-substance chronic Achilles tendinopathy. Such exercises have some degree of clinical utility in comparison to concentric training and are often referred to as a strengthening program. Yet the dose parameters of the eccentric loading do not reflect an optimal strengthening program and specifically avoid the normal eccentric-concentric coupling typical of the stretch shortening cycle. This manuscript identifies the arguments and counter arguments for why eccentric loading rehabilitation is not an optimal strengthening program. It is proposed that such exercises reflect a specific stretching program directed at the passive structures. This has two important clinical implications. Firstly, this re-interpretation of the role of eccentric exercises may direct future research into the underlying mechanisms of tendinopathy and secondly, reinforce the importance of adjunct sports specific strengthening programs.

      Statistics from

      Request permissions

      If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

      Linked Articles