Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of eccentric training and eccentric training with static stretching exercises in the management of patellar tendinopathy.
Design: Controlled clinical trial.
Setting: Rheumatology and rehabilitation centre.
Subjects: Forty-three patients who had patellar tendinopathy for at least three months. They were allocated to two groups by alternative allocation.
Interventions: Group A (n = 22) was treated with eccentric training of patellar tendon and static stretching exercises of quadriceps and hamstrings and Group B (n = 21) received eccentric training of patellar tendon. All patients received five treatments per week for four weeks.
Outcomes: Pain and function were evaluated using the VISA-P score at baseline, at the end of treatment (week 4), and six months (week 24) after the end of treatment.
Results: At the end of treatment, there was a rise in VISA-P score in both groups compared with baseline (P<0.0005, paired t test). There were significant differences in the VISA-P score between the groups at the end of treatment (+14; 10 to 18) and at the six-month follow-up (+19; 13 to 24); eccentric training and static stretching exercises produced the largest effect (P<0.0005, one-way ANOVA).
Conclusions: Eccentric training and static stretching exercises is superior to eccentric training alone to reduce pain and improve function in patients with patellar tendinopathy at the end of the treatment and at follow-up.