The therapeutic efficacy of non‐surgical treatment strategies in Achilles tendinopathy (AT) has not been well clarified. Time‐consuming and costly combinations of treatment for pain, physiotherapy and biomechanical procedures are often applied.
To analyse the efficacy of single therapeutic regimens commonly used over a short period of 4 weeks.
31 male runners (mileage >32 km/week) with unilateral, untreated AT completed 4 weeks of either physiotherapy (10 treatments: deep‐friction, pulsed ultrasound, ice, sensory motor training; (P)), wearing custom fit semirigid insoles (I) or remained without treatment (control group C). Before and after treatment, all patients underwent a treadmill test and a plantar flexion strength exercise. Subjective pain (Pain Disability Index, Pain Experience Scale), as well as strength performance capacity (peak torque), was analysed (mean, 95% CI, repeated measures analysis of variance, α = 0.05).
Pain was reduced to <50% of the baseline value after physiotherapy or after wearing insoles (p<0.05). Individual pain reduction was >50% (25%) in 89% (100%) of subjects in I and 55% (73%) in P. Higher eccentric plantar flexion peak torques after treatment were observed in I and P.
Most patients with AT experience a reduction in pain after only 4 weeks of differentiated, non‐surgical treatment consisting of physiotherapy or semirigid insoles.