Comparing two eccentric exercise programmes for the management of Achilles tendinopathy.

The authors conducted this study to make a comparison of eccentric and static exercises as suggested by Stanish with eccentric exercises as proposed by Alfredson in the management of Achilles tendinopathy. Patients with midportion Achilles tendinopathy for at least 3 months were used for this trial. They were sequentially allocated to receive either Stanish’s exercise programme or Alfredson’s exercise programme. Outcome measures were pain and function using the VISA-A score. Patients were evaluated at baseline, at the end of treatment (week 12), and 6 months (week 36) after the end of treatment. 41 patients met the inclusion criteria. At the end of treatment, there was a rise in VISA-A score in both groups compared with baseline (p < 0.05, paired t-test). There were significant differences in the VISA-A score between the groups at the end of treatment and at the 6-month follow up; Alfredson exercise programme group showed the greatest effect (p < 0.0005, independent t-test).

The authors concluded that an exercise programme based on Alfredson protocol performed better than the Stanish model with the reduction of pain and improvement of function in patients with Achilles tendinopathy at the end of the treatment and at the follow-up. They suggest that further research is needed to confirm our results.