Effectiveness of foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy
Foot orthoses are a non-surgical intervention that has been recommended in clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy. It has been hypothesised that they may reduce the bending stress by correcting abnormal eversion of the calcaneous in those with excessive pronation, increase rearfoot movement variability, and/or improve proximal musculature activation; thereby reducing Achilles tendon strain. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of customised foot orthoses in chronic mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy.
140 participants were blinded and randomised into an experimental group (customised orthoses) or a control group (sham orthoses). Both groups received eccentric calf muscle exercises, and followed for 12-months.
There was no significant differences between the groups at 3-months, as determined by the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Achilles (VISA-A) questionnaire. These findings suggest that customised foot orthoses are no more effective than sham foot orthoses for reducing symptoms and improving function in people with mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy undergoing an eccentric calf muscle exercise programme.
> From: Munteanu et al., Br J Sports Med (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.