Muscle and tendon pain can be a real drag, and often injections are recommended or considered after failed conservative treatment. Especially by that bloke in the office!
But does it work, and are they damaging?
There are lots of injection options for tendinopathy; corticosteroid, platelet-rich plasma, hyaluronic acid, prolotherapy, tenocyte implantation, stem cell… the list goes on.
There are promising studies with each of these, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer.
Currently, corticosteroids remain the most common ‘safe bet’ for pain relief and return to rehab. But they are short term strategies, with less effective long term results.
Although widely regarded as safe, animal trials of corticosteroids have showed that they can weaken tendons, however it is not conclusive in humans.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP), injects a concentrated mix of the bodies own cells to promote healing, and is gaining momentum. However the evidence is not yet certain as there are a wide variety of techniques and the procedure appears not to be completely perfected.
All other injections are considered more experimental when compared to corticosteroids and PRP.
So in conclusion, tell your office buddy that there is no clear winner! Having said that, expertly administered injections carry relatively few risks and do often help tendon rehabilitation. Therefore it is worth considering, especially when there is little response to therapy on its own.
Alex Horne Chiropractic… more than just a little prick.
Sources available on request
CrossFit and HIIT keep my clinic busy! Not just with functional improvers, but often with injuries. So are you legit?
I am a big fan of Crossfit and High intensity interval training, as they promote a challenging and functional training enviroment.
The activities often push you to the extremes, be it power and speed, range of motion, or endurance.
But all too commonly I see athletes who aren’t mechanically ready for these extremes (see are you Fiit for HIIT).
For example, if your mechanics won’t let you execute a half-decent squat without compensating, leaking stress, is it sensible to do 100 explosive box jumps at speed?
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.
Granted, the perfect squat for example is hard to achieve and you shouldn’t mollycoddle people out of exercising. But it is vitally important to consider your limitations of flexibility, strength and control so you can work on them before leaping into the extremes.
So please, know your abilities, avoid injury and be legit to Crossfit!
Alex Horne Chiropractic, too legit to quit.