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Studying tendinopathy treatments in clinical populations

   School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

About the Project

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF, 2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. Find out more.


Full-time: 3 years

Part-time: 6 years

Start dates: April 2022, July 2022, October 2022

Tendinopathy conditions are a common cause of musculoskeletal pain and limitation, which affect a wide range of tendons throughout the musculoskeletal system. Whilst many patients’ symptoms will improve, it is recognised that there is a large proportion of patients with ongoing symptoms at one-year, two-years, and often longer.

A large number of different treatments are used in clinical settings, some of which have a somewhat varied evidence base. Response to tendon treatments appears to be somewhat heterogenous, with differences seen in different studies, and also seen between different tendon locations. Many of the published research in tendinopathy are in those with relatively short-duration of symptoms, or those engaged in athletic training, with many uncertainties remaining about “optimal” treatments in those who may have (much) more chronic symptoms, or those who may not be as athletically trained prior to the onset of their symptoms.

The successful candidate will embed themselves in the clinical research team of Professor Wheeler, and previous projects have studied a range of treatments including rehabilitation, devices, injections, and shockwave therapy. As this is a clinical research programme embedded in the NHS, this would only be suitable for researchers from a clinical background who either are already /are able to hold registration with an appropriate UK healthcare professions regulator.

The exact projects of this programme of doctoral studies will be determined between Professor Wheeler and the successful applicant based on their interest, background, and prior skills. This could include further development of currently running clinical studies, or the development of novel studies investigating different tendon treatments in clinical populations with tendinopathy. These studies are most likely to be non-drug (non-CTIMP) studies; medication studies could be considered, although these would be contingent on securing additional external funding.

Prof. Wheeler is happy to be contacted for further information about this scope of research programme by interested researchers from clinical backgrounds.


Primary supervisor: Prof. Patrick Wheeler


Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

This domain of research is clinical and is embedded in the NHS. Therefore this programme of study would only be suitable for those from a clinical background, particularly doctors and physiotherapists who either are already, or are eligible to register with the appropriate UK regulator.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Find out more about research degree funding


All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select 'Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences'. Please quote the advertised reference number SSEHS/PW in your application. To avoid delays in processing your application please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

Apply now

Funding Notes

UK FEE: £4,500 - Full-time degree per annum
INTERNATIONAL FEE: £24,100 - Full-time degree per annum
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

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