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Although they are trendy money spinners, best evidence shows little effectiveness.
▸ This article is an abridged version of a paper that was published on bmj.com. Cite this article as: BMJ 2013;346:f2979
Participation in almost all sports and physical activities benefits individuals and society as a whole because it promotes health and helps prevent conditions such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes; it may also lead to improved mental health. Nevertheless, athletes are highly vulnerable to musculoskeletal injuries, sometimes with devastating effects. Sports injuries cost society billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs. Regenerative medicine technologies, such as autologous blood products for the treatment of tendinopathies, hold the promise of improved outcomes for musculoskeletal conditions that currently have limited or no treatment options. In a linked trial (doi:10.1136/bmj.f2310), Bell and colleagues compare the effectiveness of peritendinous injections of autologous blood with standard eccentric exercise in athletes with Achilles tendinopathy.1
Novel treatments that are reported to accelerate recovery from musculoskeletal injuries, without adversely affecting recurrence rate, are increasingly advocated in the lay media and often heavily promoted to athletes and healthcare professionals.2 …
Competing interests I have read and understood the BMJ Group policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: editor in chief, Muscles, Tendons and Ligaments Journal (www.mltj.org) and co-editor, Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.