Can Isometric Exercises Help with Pain Relief?

What’s This Research About?

The primary goal of this research was to determine if isotonic or isometric exercise was effective at inducing an analgesic effect within a physical therapy protocol. The secondary goal was determining changes to cortical motor function in the CNS directly following an acute bout of exercise.

Tendinopathy can be a difficult and painful condition to manage. The most frequently prescribed form of exercise to treat tendinopathy is eccentric exercise. Unfortunately, eccentric exercise can increase pain in some individuals.

An exercise-induced, pain-relieving therapeutic intervention may be ideal because it is noninvasive, can increase adherence, and allow pain to be managed directly before or after an activity.

About The Author


Jenn Pilotti

TITLE: Isometric exercise induces analgesia and reduces inhibition in patellar tendinopathy


PUBLICATION: British Journal of Sports Medicine

DATE: September 2015

AUTHORS : Ebonie Rio, Dawson Kidgell, Craig Purdam, G Lorimer Moseley, Alan J Pearce, Jill Cook

Analgesia: Insensitivity to pain.

Central nervous system (CNS): Brain and spinal cord. Coordinates activity of the entire nervous system.

Eccentric exercise: Strengthening the muscle as it lengthens.

Isometric exercise: Contraction performed with the joint angle and muscle angle fixed. A static plank is an example of an isometric exercise.

Isotonic exercise: Heavy, slow, concentric and eccentric resistance training performed at a fixed speed.

Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC): A standardized method used to measure muscle strength where the subject is asked to isometrically contract a muscle.

Tendinopathy: Tendon pain and dysfunction.

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By |2018-03-01T10:36:39-04:00March 6th, 2018|Conditions, Musculoskeletal, Pain|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jenn Pilotti has a BS in exercise physiology from UC Davis. After graduating in 2002, she was hired by the Beach and Tennis Club at Pebble Beach as a full time personal trainer. While there, she had the privilege of working with individuals of all ages, many of whom had aches and pains from a life well led. This piqued her interest in injuries, prevention, and pain. After years of undirected self study (and after leaving the security of a full time position to go out on her own), she enrolled in an online program through AT Still University, eventually acquiring a master's in human movement while working full time. After graduating, she continued to read research and write about its application to her work with clients. She fell in love with yoga in 2004, finally became 200 hour RYT in 2014 after years of workshops and self study (there seems to a theme), and continues to study somatic disciplines. She is DNS exercise trainer certified, FRCms, MovNat level I certified, GMB trainer certified, has taken PRI respiration, myokinematics, impingement and instability, and pelvis restoration, and has read an embarrassing number of books on movement, psychology, and wellness. She has an insatiable curiosity about what makes for a healthy person, physically and mentally, and she finds herself often asking why things work for some and not for others. She strongly believes in the power of knowledge and the power of movement. Learn more about Jenn Pilotti.