Limited mobility, pain when performing daily physical activities such as walking, and swollen tendons are symptoms runners can face with overuse, trauma, or a condition develops with age. Runners can experience pain from many sources, but the most commonly administered treatments for recovery lie within 3 main forms of effective injection therapy: Corticosteroid, Joint Lubricant, and PRP.
Injections that pack a dual treatment to fight pain and inflammation are called Corticosteroid injections. They combine a local aesthetic for pain with steroids for inflammation. Steroids administered this way often have fewer side effects than oral medicines, and are more fast-acting as they are applied directly in the source.
These types of injections are good to help with pain and selling, but often do not cure the problem. Symptoms of Gout, tendonitis, arthritis, and cartilage tears in runners can be treated with Corticosteroid injections when traditional treatment is ineffective and may be part of an overall wellness program or pain management regime. Iontophoresis is a form of corticosteroid therapy that uses an electrical current to deliver the dose instead of needs for long-term or more advanced chronic cases.
Joint Lubricant Injections
Synvisc injections for the knee. This is the most common injection for treatment of arthritic knees. The compound is akin to natural joint fluid, which basically performs as a natural gel-like lubricant for the knee joint. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber in the knee joint and functions to prevent friction in the joint. Arthritis can cause a loss of the internal fluid as the cartilage is affected by wear-and-tear, most commonly age related.
Athletes and runners experience can more pain, with increased friction progressively deteriorating the joint. The blood supply to cartilage is poor, so healing is limited. Synvisc injections can improve mobility and functionality and decrease friction to preserve further damage in the joint.
(PRP) Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
Many sports celebrities have credited (PRP) Platelet Rich Plasma with improving the speed of recovery for such injuries as sprained knees, (PFPS) patellofemoral pain syndrome or “runner’s knee,” plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tears. The most common types of injuries for professional runners that are treated with PRP injections are pulled hamstring muscles and sprains of the knee and ankle.
The newest rejuvenation treatment gaining popularity with professional athletes (Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant for example) from PRP is for torn tendons in rotator cuff surgery or ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery to assist in faster healing times and shorter downtime aftercare. Shinsplints made up about 20% of runner injuries in 2014 and proved the most effectively recovered with PRP. Shinsplints are small micro-tears in the tibia resulting in a syndrome of painful mobility for hobbyists and sports enthusiasts.
While most acute symptoms of pain and swelling can be eliminated with rest and decreased activity, if the symptoms persist it may be prudent to speak with a Boulder pain management doctor t to avoid further damage or injury.