Eccentric Exercises for the Management of Tendinopathy of the Main Body of the Achilles Tendon With or Without the AirHeel Brace. A Randomized Controlled Trial. A: Effects on Pain and MicrocirculationBy Knobloch, Karsten; Schreibmueller, Louisa; Longo, Umile Guiseppe; Vogt, Peter M.; Disability and Rehabilitation, Vol. 30, No. 20-22, pp. 1685-1691
Publication Date: 2008
Study compared eccentric (reduced-force) training and the combination of eccentric training with the AirHeel Brace for the management of tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon (AT). The AirHeel Brace works by using two interconnected aircells, located under the foot arch and in back of the heel, applying pulsating compression with each step to help reduce swelling and discomfort and to enhance circulation. For the study, 116 participants with unilateral tendinopathy of the main body of the AT were randomized into two groups: Group A, with 57 participants, allocated to eccentric training and AirHeel brace; and Group B, with 59 participants, performing eccentric training alone. Tendon microcirculatory mapping was performed using combined Laser-Doppler and spectrophotometry. Participants were evaluated pre- and post-intervention using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Foot and ankle outcome score (FAOS). Results showed significant improvements in VAS and FAOS scores from pre-operative to post-operative values. There were no statistically significant differences in scores when comparing the two groups after the end of the intervention. In Group A, tendon oxygen saturation in the main body of the AT showed significant increase from pre- to post-management values, and post-capillary venous filling pressures showed significant reduction from pre- to post-operative values. The study concludes that participants with tendinopathy of the main body of the AT experienced improved clinical outcome with both management options. Tendon microcirculation was optimized in the combined group of eccentric training and AirHeel Brace; however, these advantages do not translate into superior clinical performance when compared with eccentric training alone.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )
Link to text: http://www.informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09638280701785676