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Review of Studies Fails to Show Benefit from Pharmacological Treatments for Achilles Tendinopathy


Researchers analyzing a collection of studies looking at the use of pharmacological interventions, including platelet-rich plasma injections, report there is no evidence to suggest any of the individual therapies work as well as the standard physical therapy rehabilitation approach.


Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury which is common among runners. The painful condition occurs where a band of tissue connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone.

Researchers in the UK studied findings on several non-operative pharmacological interventions touted as options in the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy. They analyzed research on injectable corticosteroids, high-volume saline solution, prolotherapy, autologous blood, platelet-rich plasma and a other substances, as well as topical therapies with glyceryl trinitrate and other drugs.

In this review, published online January 12, 2015 in the British Medical Bulletin, researchers looked for the safety and usefulness of these therapies, including whether they improved patients’ function.

While they found none of the pharmacological therapies, alone, stood out as beneficial, some seem to show some benefit when used in combination with physical therapy. Large studies are needed to show whether these approaches have healing potential, the authors write.

For more about what physical therapists do to rehabilitate patients suffering from Achilles tendonitis, as well as those who are recovering from surgery to repair torn tendons, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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