Your tendons are dense, cord-like fibers that attach muscle to bone. Tendons make movement possible, and there are thousands of tendons in your body 一 the largest of which is your Achilles tendon. Tendons also absorb some of the impact when you walk or run, but they aren’t stretchy, which means they’re at risk of straining (overstretching) easily.
Tendon injuries are a common sports injury. While mild tendon pain might resolve with rest and ice, what can you do about lingering tendon pain? Dr. Stuart Kauffman at PRP in Philadelphia, is here to answer that question.
Do you have tendon pain?
Before you can determine the right treatment for your pain, it’s important to rule out other conditions. Muscle strains, broken bones, and torn ligaments can all cause pain. Common signs of tendon pain include pain near your tendon, dull aches, tenderness, and mild swelling.
Tendonitis 一 the inflammation that causes pain and tenderness 一 is frequently the result of overuse. Sometimes it’s referred to by the type of overuse, such as golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, or runner’s knee. Tendon injuries are typically diagnosed with a physical exam, but you might also receive an ultrasound or MRI to confirm the extent of your injury.
Exploring your options for treating tendon pain
Lingering tendon pain can affect your athletic performance and your physical activity routines, but there are many options for finding relief. Mild tendon pain typically responds well to ice, over-the-counter pain relievers, and rest. Because tendon injuries are often overuse injuries, it’s important to not stress your tendon.
If these conservative pain-relieving methods aren’t enough to ease your symptoms, you might try physical therapy, which helps to strengthen the muscles where your injured tendons are located.
Other medical treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, can help with lingering tendon pain. PRP injections are used independently of surgery, but they also promote healing if you need surgery to fix a ruptured tendon.
PRP therapy for lingering tendon pain
Dr. Kauffman and our team are experts when it comes to using PRP therapy for tendon pain. Each PRP injection is a custom-created compound made from your own blood. It is rich in platelets 一 a part of your blood that contains healing and growth factors. Once the compound is injected, it triggers your body’s healing responses and tissue repair.
Studies show that people with tendon or ligament injuries who receive PRP injections report less pain in the long term than people who didn’t receive any PRP injections. Not only are PRP injections effective, but they’re also safe.
Preventing tendon pain
Once you’ve experienced lingering tendon pain, you’re apt to avoid a repeat performance. One of the best ways to avoid future incidents is to adhere to your physical therapy exercises (if applicable) and to cross-train.
Cross-training helps prevent overuse injuries. For example, if you’re training for a half marathon, be sure to swap some running sessions for swimming or cycling.
Other strategies to prevent sports injuries include always warming up and cooling down, practicing good sleep hygiene, fueling your body with well-balanced meals, and always wearing the right gear for your intended sport.
To learn more about PRP for tendon injuries, schedule your consultation at our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, office today. Call or request an appointment online.