Slow resistance vs. eccentric training for AT
This single blinded, randomized controlled trial compared the effectiveness of heavy slow resistance (HSR) training and eccentric training for treatment of chronic, mid-portion Achilles Tendinopathy (AT). Both exercise groups significantly improved in their VISA-A scores at 12 and 52-week follow-up, but there was no significant difference between groups difference.
The last decade has seen a significant rise in the popularity of eccentric exercises as the treatment of choice for Achilles Tendinopathy, although it has been shown that up to 45% of patients may fail to respond to the protocol. A recent study into Patella Tendinopathy has reported superior results for HSR training when compared to ECC training.
In this single-blind randomized controlled trial, 58 recreational athletes were recruited with diagnosed mid-portion AT. The participants were randomly allocated to either HSR training or eccentric training and VISA-A scores were taken at baseline, 12-weeks and 52-weeks.
Although both groups showed clinically significant improvements in their VISA-A scores, there was no significant difference between the two exercise groups. Interestingly patient satisfaction was significantly higher in the HSR group compared to the Eccentric group. This study adds weight to the belief that it may be tendon time under tension that is important when treating AT, rather than the eccentric component specifically.
> From: Beyer et al., Am J Sports Med 43 (2015) 1704-1711. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.