Management of recent onset tendon-related pain in a primary contact setting: A survey of practice

Kieran Mitham, Adrian Mallows, Gillian Yeowell, Chris Littlewood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Tendon-related pain is a common and debilitating condition that affects a wide range of people. To inform future research, it is important to understand healthcare professional's current practice.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the practice of First Contact Practitioners (FCPs) and Other Clinicians (OCs) for recent onset tendon pain in a primary contact setting. The secondary aim was to understand if practice differed between the locations of pain.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional online survey METHOD: The online survey asked for responses relating to one scenario of shoulder pain and one of Achilles pain. Except location of pain, the scenarios were identical. Responses were collected over a four-week period to December 2020. The Chi-Square test was used to analyse the difference in proportion of responses between FCPs and OCs, and between locations of pain.

RESULTS: 118 responses were received. Rotator Cuff Related Shoulder Pain (RCRSP) was preferred by 64/118 (54.2%) for the shoulder scenario. Achilles tendinopathy was the preferred term by 86/103 (83.5%) for the Achilles. FCPs were more likely to advise NSAIDs for both shoulder (p = 0.006) and Achilles (p = 0.046) scenarios than OCs. Amended duties were more likely to be advised for manual workers for the shoulder scenario compared to Achilles (p = <0.0001).

CONCLUSION: There were similarities in the management of recent onset tendon-related pain; the majority of respondents recommended against further investigations, steroid injections, and recommended exercise. Understanding whether these approaches are clinically effective requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-98
Number of pages13
JournalMusculoskeletal Care
Issue number1
Early online date1 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • evidence based practice
  • exercise
  • low back pain
  • management
  • musculoskeletal
  • patient education
  • physiotherapy
  • rehabilitation


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