Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Looking for alternatives #2

Strengthening exercises and appropriate rest are the hallmarks of therapy for high hamstring tendinopathy. For some rest is simply reducing what they are doing to what they can tolerate. For others it means stopping all together as there is no tolerable level. Sadly I fall into the latter category. The question remains, are rest and exercises the best option for healing a chronically degenerative tendon? Is such a tendon capable of healing to a point where it can function normally again? There are other treatment options and one includes injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) into the damaged tendon. Platelets are full of growth factors and cytokines to promote healing of damaged blood vessels. There is some evidence those growth factors and cytokines help other tissues heal as well. As such doctors have been using PRP to treat tendinopathies. The results are mixed. For some there is an obvious benefit, for others not so obvious.

As it turns out, I have a soft spot for platelets as my PhD focused on horse platelets. Today I spoke with a sports medicine doctor about going down the PRP path to try and boost tendon healing. Despite rest and all the appropriate exercises, the hammies are still pretty niggly. The doctor thinks it is worth trying given the chronicity of my problem. The injections can leave you a bit sore for a few days, so I'm waiting a couple of weeks before starting treatment due to an upcoming work trip. In the meantime it is boxing, swimming and hamstring exercises.