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What can athletes with muscle injuries do to avoid surgery?

Usually acute (recent/fresh) muscle injuries heal just fine.  Sometimes, however, they don't heal well and become chronically painful.  This usually happens where the muscle becomes a tendon or the tendon attaches to a bone.  This is common in the hamstring, rotator cuff, achilles, or at the elbow (tennis elbow).  Three options are available to help patients avoid surgery: 1) physical therapy such as ASTYM which creates a painful response to breakdown "bad" muscle or tendon tissue and regenerate normal tissue; 2) PRP (platelet-rich plasma) which is an injection that triggers a similar tissue repair/regeneration response; and 3) eccentric exercises that seek to stretch out the muscle under tension.  These treatments require guidance of trained professionals but can be very effective for those frustrating, hard-to-heal muscle or tendon injuries.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.