Tendon injuries are another type of soft tissue injury that results in joint pain. There are two main types of tendon injuries that can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute means for a short period of time such as days to months, whereas chronic means for a long period of time such as months to years. Acute tendon injuries are known as tendonitis, which literally means inflammation of the tendon. This is because acute tendon injuries result in inflammation as the mechanism of injury. That is why treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation including rest, ice, and NSAIDs. On the other hand, chronic tendon injuries are termed tendinosis or tendinopathy. The reason there is no “-itis” in the chronic tendon injury is because there is no longer inflammation present. Multiple acute injuries eventually result in chronic degeneration of the tendon rather than inflammation. That is why treating a chronic tendon injury with rest, ice, and NSAIDs like it’s an acute injury will no longer help.
Once the injury transitions to chronic from repeat acute insults to the tendon, then it is time to consider other treatment options. This is the primary indication for Regenerative Medicine. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) can help heal damaged tendons. Platelets are rich in growth factors and other proteins that promote a healing response. When an injected at the site of an injury they can help the body heal itself.