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

Mitham, Kieran and Mallows, Adrian and Yeowell, Gillian and Littlewood, Chris (2021) Management of recent onset tendon‐related pain in a primary contact setting: A survey of practice. Musculoskeletal Care. ISSN 1478-2189

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Abstract

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.

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