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Rehabilitation Hospitals are Buzzing about this Sports Injury Study

Author Travel Force Staffing | 10.29

Are Corticosteroid Injections the Best Treatment for Tendinopathies?

When a rehab patient seeks relief from painful tendons, it’s typical to receive a cortisone injection; now, because of a study conducted by the University of Queensland, the effectiveness of cortisone injections is being revaluated, with sports physiotherapy experts pointing out that cortisone may prolong conditions, in a sports injury like tennis elbow. The study showed that receiving cortisone injections in response to a tendinopathy, increases the likelihood of returning to the rehabilitation hospital for more treatment by a whopping 64%.

knee cortisone injectionThe University’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences affiliated with the study, are promoting the idea that doctors should alert patients that better treatments (for tendinopathies) are out there; the preferred method is involving patients in an active physical therapy program while the doctor employs a “wait and see” approach before medications are prescribed.

That means delaying injection until a trial of prescribed exercise is given 2 to 3 months to take effect. Researches behind the Australian study believe that more in-depth study—like exploring different injections—needs to be done, as well as studying the benefits of combining injections and physical therapy.

The University study may have more work to do, but should be credited with their findings; which are strong supporting evidence that, for treatment of tendinopathy, corticosteroid injection is beneficial in the short term, but worse than other treatment options in the intermediate and long terms.

Those healthcare professionals in physical therapy jobs who make their living in therapist employment should take note of this study’s consensus, that exercise is key in making a complete recovery from tendinopathy; passive treatments for this condition, like injections, gene and laser therapies are more likely to fail long-term without exercise as part of the rehabilitative recovery.

Remember that the success of your rehab jobs relies on keeping your rehab patients active and mobile, as you wait and see if their hard work and commitment to physical therapy are working!

Footnote: The University of Queensland study is part of a sports physiotherapy student’s PhD candidature; the study reviewed the results of 41 previously published studies, including 2,672 patients with various tendon problems.

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