What is Isometrics?
Isometrics are static contractions of a muscle rather than a shortening and lengthening of a muscle tissue.
What do they do?
They have been shown to reduce pain in people with tendinopathy. This finding is quite new but powerful for people with Achilles tendon, patella tendon or tennis elbow.
The reduction of pain was studied to be equivalent to taking paracetamol and can last up to 4 hours.
Traditionally we use 40-45 second holds. 3-8 times per day or as pain requires it. How cool that we can use a movement to control pain instead of drugs.
This study trailed the 45 sec hold but then also a 30sec down phase. THAT’S A LOT even by a physio’s standards.
What Should I do?
The take home message here is that Isometrics will reduce pain and allow you to do more of the rebuilding rehab required.
This particular protocol will take a while however for those people who have had tendonitis for a long time and are failing traditional management this might just be worth the extra time.
This study and so many before it indicate that you should never exceed 4/10 pain when doing this prescription. Therefore you can use this as a good guide to when to put the weight up or do more reps.
Where do I start?
See a physio – get assessed. We can advise at what point in the protocol you can start at and when to progress.