Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Clinical studies of any design and basic science research were eligible for inclusion in the review.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that assessed eccentric exercise training, a physical therapy intervention, were eligible for inclusion. The patients in the included studies were given eccentric exercises, eccentric overload, eccentric/concentric stretching, or eccentric exercises and a splint for 12 weeks' duration. The control interventions, where present, were rest/surgery, exercise without pain, night splint and concentric exercises.
Participants included in the review
Studies of patients with Achilles tendinopathy were eligible for inclusion. Where reported, the studies included patients who were minimally active, were recreational athletes, or were active in competitive sports. In the included studies, the average age of the patients ranged from 44 to 51 years and the duration of their symptoms ranged from over 4 weeks to 20 years, where reported.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The outcomes of interest were pain reduction, return to normal activity in the short term, rehabilitation of the tendon, and prevention of re-injury in the long term. The included studies assessed concentric plantar flexion, pain, pain at rest, pain with activity, pain on palpation, toe raise, tendon thickness and tendon volume. Pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale or by scoring from 1 to 6 or 0 to 100. Tendon thickness was measured using ultrasound, while tendon volume was measured using magnetic resonance imaging.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.