New study to investigate treatment of tendon problems in UK military personnel


Headley Court’s Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation (ADMR) has partnered with National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Loughborough University to investigate risk factors and treatment of tendon pain in the British Armed Forces.

The study, called Biomechanical Associations and Efficacy of Injectable Therapies in Tendinopathy (BEFIT), will mainly focus on a randomised controlled trial to investigate the effect of high-volume injection therapy in Achilles and patellar tendinopathy.

Headley Court research head group captain Alex Bennett said: “This well-designed clinical trial has been approved not only by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Research Ethics Committee but also the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and gives us the best opportunity to test fully whether these injections can benefit our patients.”

As part of the research, university academics will work alongside the MoD collaborators in order to help UK military personnel with tendon problems.

“Reducing musculoskeletal injuries (MSKI) remains our main effort in improving the health and operational readiness of our personnel."

Director of Defence Rehabilitation colonel John Etherington said: “Reducing musculoskeletal injuries (MSKI) remains our main effort in improving the health and operational readiness of our personnel. We know that approximately 60% of medical downgradings and 60% of medical discharges are associated with MSKI.

“Getting the very best treatment at the right place and at the right time is key to us helping our personnel fulfil their potential. I am delighted that we have been able to pool resources in this type of project to drive forward best practice.”

The research was conducted at the Help for Heroes motion tracking laboratory at Headley Court using Loughborough University's knowledge of biomechanics.

Researchers are also analysing the factors, which may predict tendon pain and its response to treatment.


Image: BEFIT study clinic. Photo: Crown Copyright.