Whole-Body Vibration Versus Eccentric Training or a Wait-and-See Approach for Chronic Achilles Tendinopathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Author: Horstmann T, Jud HM, Fröhlich V, Mündermann A, Grau S.
Medical Park Bad Wiessee St Hubertus, Bad Wiessee, Germany.
Conference/Journal: J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
Date published: 2013 Nov
Other: Volume ID: 43 , Issue ID: 11 , Pages: 794-803 , Special Notes: doi: 10.2519/jospt.2013.4762 , Word Count: 253

Study Design Randomized clinical trial. Objectives To test the hypothesis that whole-body vibration training results in greater improvements in symptoms and pain, structural changes, and muscle flexibility and strength of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit than those achieved with eccentric training or with a wait-and-see approach. Background The potential use of vibration training for the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy has not been explored. Methods Fifty-eight patients (mean age, 46.0 years) with Achilles tendinopathy were randomly assigned to a 12-week intervention using whole-body vibration training, eccentric training, or a wait-and-see approach. Pain, tendon structure and path, and muscle flexibility and strength were assessed at baseline and follow-up, and compared using mixed-factor analyses of variance. Results Pain improvements at the midsection of the tendon were greater in the vibration- and eccentric-training groups than in the wait-and-see group (mean difference from the vibration-training group, -18.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -35.0, -1.1; mean difference from the eccentric-training group, -27.0; 95% CI: -50.9, -3.1). Improvements in pain at the musculotendinous junction were greater in the eccentric-training group than in the other groups (mean difference from the vibration-training group, -31.4; 95% CI: -60.7, -2.0; mean difference from the wait-and-see group, -50.2; 95% CI: -82.3, -18.1). Improvements in most participants were achieved in the vibration-training group, followed by the eccentric-training group. Conclusion Vibration training may be an alternative or a complementary treatment in patients who do not respond well to eccentric training, especially in those with insertional pain. Level of Evidence Therapy, level 2b-. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2013;43(11):794-803. Epub 9 September 2013. doi:10.2519/jospt.2013.4762.
PMID: 24175595