Exercise progression to incrementally load the Achilles tendon

Review written by Shruti Nambiar info

Key Points

  1. Tendons are responsive to mechanical loading.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Achilles tendon injuries can be classified broadly into two categories - Achilles tendon rupture and Achilles tendinopathy. Gradual and adjusted mechanical loading is essential for Achilles tendon healing (1). Re-injury to the Achilles is relatively less common among individuals who follow a standardized progression that gradually increases loading during the return to play phase (1). This study aimed to create a gradual and incremental exercise progression to be used by individuals with Achilles tendon injuries; in order to safely progress patients from the early stages of rehab through walking, running and sport-specific physical activities.

Gradual and adjusted mechanical loading is essential for Achilles tendon healing.
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Achilles tendon load increases incrementally from slow, multi-joint movements to dynamic, single-leg movements.

METHODS

Eight healthy adults (six males and two females) were recruited in this study. Participants with a diagnosed history of Achilles tendon injury and current self-reported tendon pain were excluded. Retro-reflective markers were secured on the pelvis and legs, with foot

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