Effect of resistance exercise dose components for tendinopathy management: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Jarod Hall info

Key Points

  1. Exercise therapy is the main mode of conservative treatment for tendinopathies with a focus on resistance exercise, which is shown to be effective in improving patient outcomes.
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Tendinopathy is a prevalent condition involving degenerative changes within tendons of both children and adults (1). It affects athletic and non-athletic populations and can manifest in persistent pain, swelling, loss of function and diminished movement (2-5). Exercise therapy is the mainstay of conservative management and has focused largely on resistance exercise, often eccentric actions, to encourage load tolerance leading to structural adaptations at the musculotendinous unit and functional restoration (5-7). Its effectiveness is likely to be influenced not only by the specific exercises but also the magnitude of the stimulus, quantified by the concept of exercise dose.

The aim of this study was to investigate potential moderating effects of resistance exercise dose components, including intensity, volume, and frequency, through contemporary meta-analysis and meta-regression approaches in order to explore the heterogeneity and assess for general trends regarding dose-response relationships.

Exercise therapy is the mainstay of conservative management and has focused largely on resistance exercise.
Greater loads and greater volumes of load likely lead to more robust biological signaling for adaptation to the imposed demands.


The authors’ search strategy identified a total of 12,379 potential studies, with 6,944 remaining following de-duplication. After title and abstract screening, 440 studies were retained for full-text screening. Of these studies, a further 330 were excluded based primarily on insufficient

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