Heel-drop Exercise Program Improves Pain Scores for Achilles Tendinopathy Patients

A heel-drop exercise program improved pain scores at 5-year follow-up when used by patients in the conservative treatment of chronic midportion Archilles tendinopathy.

In an update from a previous study, researchers used the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Achilles (VISA-A) questionnaire score to record the pain status, alternative treatments and ultrasonic neovascularization scores of 70 tendons from 58 patients enrolled in the Alfredson’s heel-drop exercise program, according to the abstract.

Researchers reported that the sagittal tendon thickness in patients had decreased from 8.05 mm at the start of exercising to 7.5 mm at 5-year follow-up. They also reported that although the pain scores improved during the 5 years, some patients still experienced mild pain. VISA-A scores increased significantly for patients from 49.2 at the start of the program to 83.6 after 5 years of exercise. From the 1-year to 5-year follow-up, patient scores improved from 75.0 to 83.4.

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