Objective: Achilles tendinopathy is prevalent in athletes, but can also affect sedentary patients. We studied the effects of eccentric exercises in sedentary non-athletic patients with Achilles tendinopathy.
Methods: Thirty-four sedentary patients (18 males, average age 44 years, range 23-67; 16 females, average age 51 years, range 20-76; average BMI: 28.6+/-4.7, range 22.1-35.4) with a clinical diagnosis of unilateral tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon completed the VISA-A questionnaire at first attendance (39+/-S.D. 22.8) and at their subsequent visits. The patients underwent a graded progressive eccentric calf strengthening exercises programme for 12 weeks.
Results: Fifteen patients (44%) did not improve with eccentric exercise regimen. Three patients improved after perintendinous injections aprotinin and local anaesthetic. Surgery was performed in seven patients as 6 months of conservative management failed to produce improvements. The overall average VISA-A scores at latest follow up was 50 (S.D. 26.5).
Conclusions: Eccentric exercises, though effective in nearly 60% of our patients, may not benefit sedentary patients to the same extent reported in athletes.