Isometric exercises in patellar tendinopathy
Patellar tendinopathy (PT) is prevalent and difficult to manage, especially in regards to short-term pain management. Whilst eccentric exercise is the current mainstay of treatment, their effectiveness is questionable during the middle of the competitive season for athletes. There is a growing body of research supporting the utilisation of isometric and isotonic contractions in the immediate reduction of PT pain. This study investigated the effect the latter two mechanisms would have on pain relief in PT.
6 volleyball players participated in the single-blinded, randomised cross-over study comparing the effects immediately and 45 minutes post isometric and isotonic contractions. Both forms of contraction reduced single-leg decline squat (SLDS) pain. Isometric contractions promoted cortical inhibition, whilst isotonic did not. Furthermore, pain relief at 45 minutes was sustained only following isometric contractions.
This study showed that a single bout of isometric training reduced PT pain immediately and for at least 45 minutes following. An insight into the mechanism was provided by the concurrent increase in cortical inhibition.
> From: Rio et al., Br J Sports Med (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.