If you have tendonitis, you’ll do anything for lasting relief. Red light therapy and PRP are great nonsurgical options for tendonitis pain, but which suits you? Read on to learn more about these treatments and how to pick the best one for your needs.

Tendons are the strong bands of connective tissue that join the bones and muscles. Tendons are extremely tough, but they can become inflamed with overuse, leading to a painful condition called tendonitis.

Tendonitis can affect various body areas, including the hips, ankles, shoulders, and knees. The Achilles tendon is one of the most prominent tendons in the body that tendonitis often affects, especially in athletes.

Although tendonitis is painful, you don’t have to live with that pain forever. Plenty of nonsurgical treatments can help you manage tendonitis discomfort, including PRP and red light therapy.

Dr. Dee S. Stevens and the team at Advanced Integrated Medical offer various modern and holistic treatments for different conditions, including tendonitis.

Our team specializes in regenerative and functional medicine treatments to give you long-term relief without surgery.

The facts on tendonitis

Tendonitis is a painful condition where the tendons around muscles and bones swell due to inflammation and overuse.

Tendonitis can happen to any tendon but is especially prevalent in the Achilles tendon, elbows, and shoulders. The symptoms you experience with tendonitis vary but often include the following:

  • Pain with movement
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Cracking or popping sensation
  • Skin discoloration

People experience both acute and chronic tendonitis. Acute tendonitis comes on suddenly from an injury. In contrast, chronic tendonitis builds over time and is tougher to eradicate.

Overusing a particular tendon is the leading cause of tendonitis. However, it can also occur after an injury or sudden strain on the area.

What is red light therapy?

Red light therapy is a noninvasive, painless procedure to treat various skin conditions and injuries, including tendonitis. The treatment uses low-level red light therapy to penetrate the cells and improve energy production by the mitochondria.

No heat is necessary for red light therapy, and the cells readily absorb the light to encourage energy storage in  ATP. Injury, aging, and other factors cause a decline in ATP production, which makes healing harder for the body.

Red light therapy is a noninvasive way to encourage the body to produce more ATP and energy for cellular repair and healing.

We use red light therapy for various inflammatory conditions like tendonitis. It works by lowering inflammatory markers and speeding up the production of antioxidants, which helps you heal faster.

It also increases circulation to the site of injury, which aids in healing tendonitis quicker than usual without requiring more invasive procedures.

Understanding PRP

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a type of regenerative medicine treatment that’s more popular now than ever because it uses the patient’s blood.

The main components of PRP are plasma (the liquid portion of blood) and platelets (necessary for blood clotting). Although platelets aid in blood clotting, that isn’t all they do. Platelets also contain essential growth factors that help in tissue healing and recovery.

PRP is a relatively simple procedure requiring a blood draw from your arm and an injection in the tendon, done at the same appointment.

After we draw blood from your arm, we place it in a centrifuge, a machine that spins the blood down to separate the plasma and platelets from the other components.

Once the centrifuge finishes, we put the concentrated platelets and plasma into a syringe. We then clean the site of tendonitis and inject the PRP into the area, apply a bandage, and you’re good to go home.

Which one is right for me?

Both red light therapy and PRP are great options for treating tendonitis, but which should you choose?

Dr. Stevens and the team at Advanced Integrated Medical carefully evaluate your health, past medical history, and site of tendonitis to determine which option is best for you.

Red light therapy is the way to go if you’re looking for a completely noninvasive option. There are no needles or puncturing of the skin involved, and each treatment lasts about 20 minutes.

You may need several red light therapy sessions for optimal relief, which we schedule several weeks apart.

Conversely, PRP is still minimally invasive, only requiring a quick blood draw and an injection into the area. PRP uses your blood and is done within one appointment.

You may opt for PRP for long-term tendonitis relief if other treatments like red light therapy were unsuccessful in relieving your discomfort.

PRP also takes several weeks to months until you see results, as the platelets need time to allow the growth factors to repair damaged tissue.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you and Dr. Stevens with which option you would like to try first. Both are successful in relieving painful tendonitis symptoms.

If you’re tired of living with tendonitis pain, don’t hesitate to call one of our conveniently located offices in Utah, or request a consultation on our website.

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Our goal is for you to leave our office with a memorable and enjoyable experience, which is why our welcoming and compassionate staff will do everything they can to make you feel right at home.

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