A Prospective Randomized Study Comparing the Therapeutic Effect of Eccentric Training, the AirHeel Brace, and a Combination of Both

Wolf Petersen, Robert Welp andDieter Rosenbaum.

The aim of this study was to determine if the AirHeel brace improves the clinical outcome of patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy.  One hundred patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: (1) eccentric training, (2) AirHeel brace, and (3) combination of eccentric training and AirHeel brace. Patients were evaluated at 6, 12, and 54 weeks after the beginning of the treatment protocol with ultrasonography, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle score, and Short Form-36 (SF-36).  The outcomes improved in all three groups with no significant difference between them.  The authors conclude that  the AirHeel brace is as effective as eccentric training in the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinopathy. There is no synergistic effect when both treatment strategies are combined.

The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2007, 35, 1659-1667

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