The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body. Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a common clinical problem with Achilles overuse. Eccentric exercise is often used as an initial treatment for these patients. Most patients with AT experienced moderate to severe pain, limiting the incentive to perform eccentric exercise. It is difficult for them to complete eccentric exercise for 3 months consecutively to obtain significant improvements. Using PEMF as an adjunct, there could be immediate pain relief and improved response to eccentric exercise by modulating the mechanical properties of the Achilles tendon. Participants may experience less pain while performing eccentric exercises to increase compliance with the rehabilitation programme.
This prospective randomised double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial aims to investigate the treatment effects of PEMF for participants with AT. All participants are randomised into two groups: the intervention group (n = 20; active PEMF treatment and eccentric exercise) and the control group (n = 20; sham treatment and eccentric exercise). Researchers perform self-reported, functional and ultrasonographic outcomes during baseline assessment, 4 weeks, 8 weeks follow-ups, and 3 and 6 months follow-ups after the commencement of the PEMF treatment.
AT is a common clinical condition affecting athletes and sedentary populations. It is essential to investigate treatment adjuncts to improve rehabilitation outcomes for these patients. This trial may demonstrate the effectiveness of PEMF in relieving pain, improving function, and restoring mechanical changes of the tendon in participants with AT.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05316961. Registered on 7th April 2022.