New treatment for Achilles tendon injuries shows promising results

NEWS - 26TH JULY 2023

New data presented at the Isokinetic conference shows that patients experienced less pain and recovered faster when treated with hyaluronic acid

New data presented at the football medicine conference run by Isokinetic, the HSMA-based sports medicine and rehabilitation clinic, has revealed that professional athletes with Achilles tendon injury experienced significant improvements using a treatment of bio-inductive and multi-fractioned hyaluronic acid (HA) injections – a discovery that gives new hope to sufferers of this painful and debilitating injury.

Clinical results indicate that treatment of tendinopathies with bio-inductive and muti-fractioned HA promotes the natural self-repair mechanism of the tendon, ensuring a rapid reduction of pain and recovery of the normal function and physiological structure of the tendon. This results in the pain-free ability to move, which is maintained over time. A total of 60 patients (39 male and 21 female) with an average age of 32 years, all of them professional athletes in football, volleyball, tennis and boxing, took part in the study.

Dr Matthew Stride, Isokinetic sports doctor and former club doctor at Brentford FC, said: “This is a very significant study and is a really good example of how the management of tendinopathy in elite athletes can be implemented to help the wider population. Pain and stiffness associated with tendinopathy can cause resulting loss of function, ability to exercise and perform and simply just enjoyment. Therefore, reducing this pain will allow a greater efficacy of physical treatment, appropriate loading and quicker transition back into exercise without any invasive procedures. This is a very exciting development and one I look forward to working with many patients on.”

New data from a separate study on the load borne on the Achilles tendon during exercise was also presented at the conference. The Achilles tendon can be exposed to considerable stress during athletic activities and is often subject to pathologies such as tendinopathies. When designing a prevention or rehabilitation protocol, mechanical loading is a key consideration. This is aided by being able to accurately determine the load applied to the tendon when performing exercises. The study found that this load ranged from 2.7 to 3.95 BW when walking, compared with 4.15 to 7.71 BW when running. The data showed that strengthening exercises specifically designed for the Achilles tendon can mitigate and lower the load borne during exercise.