Eccentric Exercise

No, not “eccentric” like your odd sister-in-law or Donald Trump.  Eccentric as in the movement of muscle while it is LENGTHENING under load, as opposed to shortening under load (which would be considered “concentric” exercise).  It was hard to believe that eccentric exercise could actually help with chronic breakdown-type conditions like tendinosis when I first learning about it at McGill 8 years ago or so, but I’ve now seen some good quality research and experienced its effects with clients.

When resting or optimizing movement patterns does NOT help, then repetitive stress injuries i.e. tendinosis (chronic tendinitis in the elbows for example), or plantar fasciitis, might be due to a dysregulation of the healing and repair process in the areas of those injuries.  These conditions could be looked upon as having an alteration in the quality of the tissue, brought on by stress that the body simply was not capable of adapting to.

Aside from rest, the best treatment option might be eccentric exercise.  LILT (low-intensity laser therapy) would most likely be the other best option.  The eccentric exercise causes small amounts of damage that might initiate the healing process, breaking an otherwise “positive feedback loop”, in which pain simply perpetuates.

Colin Badali, RMT, CSCS

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