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Do Platelet Rich Plasma Injections Help With Achilles Tendinitis? What Does the Research Say?

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

When doing my blog posts, I always like to go off what I am seeing within the community, the research, and also the questions I get asked by my clients. There are a lot of procedures that can be offered in the assistance of tendon related pain (tendinopathy). Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are just one of these that are highly sought after as a "natural" way of going about it. In today's post, I will go over not only whether PRP injections actually help but also break things down further. While this discussion will lean into runners and endurance athletes, active adults can definitely benefit highly from the read as well.

What is Achilles Tendinopathy?

When most people talk about an injury to a tendon, they are more than likely referring to tendinitis. However, an injury to a tendon is more of a progression and is where the term tendinopathy stems. Tendinitis is just the start.

Basically, tendinitis is the irritation of a tendon in the acute sense. This may occur when you perform a task that requires more force than what the tissue can tolerate, you run more miles than you usually do (and/or at a greater intensity), or in some cases when there is direct trauma to the tendon. This part of the progression can last anywhere from a day to a week or two.

If you have tenderness, pain, or discomfort in a tendon for longer than a couple of weeks, that’s when tendinosis appears. Tendinosis is a progressive condition that can last anywhere from a month to years. The longer this occurs without alleviation then, of course, the worse it is. Tendinosis involves a gradual and overall change in the normal tissue of the tendon, converting from healthy tissue that is aligned with the appropriate protein chains holding it together into an irregular, protein poor, and scar tissue-laden tendon.