Beyond the tendon
Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is often associated with persistent pain, high recurrence rates and functional impairments. This study provided an opportunity to explore the perceptions and experiences of people with persistent AT. The findings suggest that persistent AT is associated with a significant psychosocial impact, particularly in terms of participation in daily life and valued activities. Better understanding the experiences and personal impacts of AT may enhance management of this persistent disorder.
In this qualitative study, semi-structured telephone interviews were carried out for 8 particpants with AT more than 3 months. Participants reported significant disruption in their ability to engage in normal daily activities and highlighted implications of giving up recreational activities on social life, and its effect of a loss of sense of self or identity. Many participants expressed their frustrations with the treatment process and lack of confidence in various health care providers and interventions, including rest and exercise. There were also confusions in relation to the causation of AT and uncertainty surrounding potential damage to the AT.
These findings highlight the importance of discussing with patients their individual experiences, understanding and beliefs about AT and its management. Pain neuroscience education may facilitate individuals with AT and help with compliance with evidence-based approaches including exercise.
> From: Mc Auliffe et al., Musculoskelet Sci Prac 29 (2017) 108-114. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.