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Scientific News in Foot Pain (Part 5):
Chronic Achilles Tendinopathy Treated with Eccentric Stretching Program
Achilles tendinitis is a common pain in the back of the heel or ankle. It can happen at any age but is more common in the 40 to 60 year age group. Prolonged exercise therapy and reduction of activity combination with ice and anti-inflammatory medications to help with the pain are generally prescribed.
Mr. Verrall and his associates (Verrall G et al. Chronic Achilles tendinopathy treated with eccentric stretching program. Foot Ankle Int. 2011 Sep;32(9):843-9.) evaluated athletes while being treated for Achilles tendinitis with any eccentric stretching program. This exercise can be best described as placing the ball of the foot on a step with the heel unsupported, and allowing the heel to drop off the edge of the step. After six weeks of treatment, they stated that 80% of their patients rated their satisfaction 7/10 or greater. Their pain had reduced from 7.2 to 2.9.
While these results are short-term, this form of exercise treatment is the most widely accepted and should be tried in most cases for at least six months before considering surgical management.
–Brett Fink, MD. Co-author of The Whole Foot Book: A Comprehensive Guide to Taking Care of your Feet
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