AAU Update

PhD defense, Henrik Riel

The Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Aalborg Uni-versity Hospital are pleased to invite to PhD defense by Henrik Riel, who will defend the thesis entitled: THE ROLE OF PATIENT ADVICE, RESISTANCE TRAINING, AND CORTICOSTEROID INJECTION IN THE MANAGEMENT OF PLANTAR FASCIOPATHY


25.06.2021 kl. 14.00 - 17.00


The PhD defense will take place

June 25th, 2021, at 2PM (CET)

In Auditorium A, Forskningens Hus
Sdr. Skovvej 15, 9000 Aalborg
(Registration by email to lvb@dcm.aau.dk)

and virtually via Zoom
 (registration by email to: lvb@dcm.aau.dk)

After the defense there will be held a reception. All are welcome.


Prof. Michael Skovdal Rathleff,
Aalborg University

Prof. Martin Bach Jensen,
Aalborg University

Prof. Jens Lykkegaard Olesen,
Aalborg University

Prof. Bill Vicenzino
The University of Queensland

Assessment Committee

Prof. Ole Rahbek,
Aalborg University

Prof. Keith Rome,
AUT University and University of Southampton

Prof. Michael Krogsgaard,
University of Copenhagen


About the PhD thesis

Plantar fasciopathy is a common musculoskeletal condition in general practice. Patients experience pain under the plantar heel that is usually worst on the first step when getting out of bed in the morning or after periods of prolonged sitting. Heavy-slow resistance training has been frequently used to manage tendinopathies but before this PhD, resistance training had only been used in a single study of individuals with plantar fasciopathy. The overarching aim of this PhD was to further explore and develop the role of resistance training in the management of individuals with plantar fasciopathy. Hereof, if a combination of exercises and an ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection could lead to improved recovery.

The results of the first study, a randomised crossover study, showed that neither isometric resistance exercise, isotonic resistance exercise, nor walking were associated with an acute pain reduction. In the second study, a self-dosed resistance training programme was not superior to a predetermined programme and despite participants of both groups improved over time, only 4/70 participants across the groups achieved a satisfactory improvement. The third study investigated the feasibility study of combining an ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection and with heavy-slow resistance training and participants found the combined treatments acceptable. The fourth and final study was a three-armed randomised trial comparing patient advice (PA) versus fundamental patient advice plus heavy-slow resistance training (PAX) versus a combination of fundamental patient advice and plus heavy-slow resistance training and an ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection (PAXI). PAXI was significantly superior to PA, but no other between-group differences of the primary outcome were found. Despite the statistical superiority, the difference between PAXI and PA did not reach the minimal important difference.

The results of this PhD indicate that heavy-slow resistance training should not be recommended for an acute pain reduction and a self-dosed programme is associated with similar improvement as a predetermined programme. Heavy-slow resistance training with patient advice was not superior to patient advice alone. Only combined with an ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection, heavy-slow resistance training shows superiority, yet this superiority is only statistically significant, and it cannot be inferred that it is a meaningful difference to patients. Hence, the choice of treatment is expected to depend much on preferences by patient and clinician


Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University


Forskningens Hus, Sdr. Skovvej 15, 9000 Aalborg

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