Eccentric Training and Neovascularisation in Achilles Tendinosis

Effects on neovascularisation behind the good results with eccentric training in chronic mid-portion Achilles tendinosis? Ohberg L, Alfredson H. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2004 Sep;12(5):465-70. Epub 2004 Apr 2.

Abstract

The background to the good clinical results reported using painful eccentric calf-muscle training as treatment for chronic painful mid-portion Achilles tendinosis is not known. Recently, using ultrasound and colour Doppler technique, we showed that painful tendinosis was associated with a local neovascularisation. Furthermore, in a pilot study, destroying these neovessels by sclerosing therapy cured the pain in most patients. Dynamic ultrasound and colour Doppler examination has shown that the flow in the neovessels stops during dorsiflexion in the ankle joint. Therefore, it was of interest to study the occurrence of neovascularisation before and after eccentric training. Forty-one tendons in 30 patients (22 men and 8 women, mean age 48 years) with chronic painful mid-portion Achilles tendinosis were examined with ultrasonography and colour Doppler, before and after 12 weeks of eccentric calf-muscle training. Before treatment, there was a local neovascularisation in the area with tendon changes (hypo-echoic areas, irregular fibre structure) in all tendons. At follow-up after treatment (mean 28 months), there was a good clinical result (no tendon pain during activity) in 36/41 tendons, and a poor result in 5/41 tendons. In 34/36 tendons with a good clinical result of treatment there was a more normal tendon structure, and in 32/36 tendons there was no remaining neovascularisation. In 5/5 tendons with a poor clinical result there was a remaining neovascularisation in the tendon, and in 2/5 tendons there were remaining structural abnormalities. In conclusion, in patients with chronic painful mid-portion Achilles tendinosis, a good clinical result after eccentric training seems to be associated with a more normal tendon structure and no remaining neovascularisation. Action on the area with neovessels during the eccentric training regimen might possibly be responsible for the good clinical results.

Diagnosis:  Mid portion Achilles tendinitis (2-6 cm above insertion)

Outcome:  “At follow-up after treatment (mean 28 months), there was a good clinical result (no tendon pain during activity) in 36/41 tendons, and a poor result in 5/41 tendons. In 34/36 tendons with a good clinical result of treatment there was a more normal tendon structure, and in 32/36 tendons there was no remaining neovascularisation. In 5/5 tendons with a poor clinical result there was a remaining neovascularisation in the tendon, and in 2/5 tendons there were remaining structural abnormalities.”

When Assessed:  28 months

Subjects:  41 tendons, 22 men 8 women, mean age 48 years

Protocol:  2 exercises (one with knee straight and one with knee bent) 3×15 each, 2 x per day, 7 days per week for 12 weeks, starting with full body weight on one leg, train with pain unless “disabling”, no indication of varied speed. After 12 weeks they were encouraged to keep up the exercises 1-2 times per week.

Other Activity:  “The patients were allowed to gradually go back to their previous (before injury) tendon loading activity during the last 4 weeks of the 12 week training regimen.”

Chad’s Comments:  None

Thanks for reading my blog. If you have any questions or comments (even hostile ones) please don’t hesitate to ask/share. If you’re reading one of my older blogs, perhaps unrelated to neck or back pain, and it helps you, please remember Spinal Flow Yoga for you or someone you know in the future.


Chad Reilly is a Physical Therapist, obtaining his Master’s in Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. Exercise Science also from NAU. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and holds a USA Weightlifting Club Coach Certification as well as a NASM Personal Training Certificate. Chad completed his Yoga Teacher Training at Sampoorna Yoga in Goa, India.

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Hello! Thanks for checking out Spinal Flow Yoga®!

This is one of my older “legacy” blogs from my prior physical therapy site. If the information you find here seems only moderately related, or a bit technical for yoga, it’s because I wrote it with a different, but still overlapping, audience in mind. However, I think each blog does showcase my thought processes and research base, both of which very much influenced what evolved into Spinal Flow Yoga®.

Further, given that spine pain has long been a favorite topic of mine, much of the content within these older blogs will be directly relevant to Spinal Flow® even if at times I criticized yoga. In fact, that’s why I created Spinal Flow Yoga®, to correct what were, and still are, many physical problems in modern yoga sequences. Time permitting, I may revisit some of my favorites blogs add some content relating them to newer Spinal Flow® concepts that aim to cure neck and back pain as well as improve overall health and fitness from the comfort of your own home without the need for equipment. Hopefully that will make more sense out of why this blog is here. And if you have neck or back pain, you're in luck. Before you needed a gym to utilize my methods, but I've been working hard, gearing it towards home training, and efficiency and effectiveness have been remarkable. Hit the button to learn more about SC5 and SF5, my 5-minute flows, both of which I'm very proud of.