Eccentric Exercises in Conservative Treatment of Achilles Tendinopathy
Recently when reading " Lower Extremity Review", I came across an interesting article written by Jonathan Hook, DPM, and Curt Martini, DPM about the effectiveness of stretching therapy for Achilles tendon injuries.
The authors state, " Pain in the Achilles tendon is common among athletes, recreational exercisers and inactive people alike". Achilles tendinopathy is a non-inflammatory cause of pain in the Achilles tendon. This may be caused by overuse, biomechanical problems or systemic disease.
Treatments include rest, pain medications, stretching, strength training, heel lifts, footwear changes, night splints and icing the area. Eccentric stretching involves movement against body weight to both stretch and strengthen the muscle fibers. A recent study revealed no significant difference between a group who underwent surgery verses a group who only exercises for several weeks. This may give pause to those recommended surgical correction for Achilles tendon pain. There may be variations in the effectiveness of stretching exercises, depending on the location of the injury of the tendon.
To prevent recurring injury to the Achilles tendon, one may limit the amount of training, modifying footwear, changing the training surface or wearing orthotics.
If you have chronic pain of the Achilles tendon, contact our office, Eccentric stretching may provide lasting relief.
Evan Kelner, DPM 1398 Highway 35, Ocean 191 Highway 37W, Toms River