One of the hot areas of research into management of tendinopathies over the last five to ten years has been the use of topical Glyceryl Trinitrate (GTN) patches to manage pain during rehabilitation of tendinopathies, including Patella, Achilles, and Tennis elbow. This drug may sound familiar, as it the the same patch used for people suffering Angina during cardiac events. It is a vasodilator (opens up blood vessels).

Though the mechanism that causes pain in tendinopathy is still not fully understood, it is believed to be related to the neurovascular ingrowth that occurs in the tendon as a response to excessive load on, and microtrauma in the tendon tissues. In most studies it has been found that use of GTN patches on the skin over the painful area, coupled with conventional eccentric exercise program is less painful than placebo at the 12 week and 24 week stage of rehabilitation.

Your physiotherapist can advise you whether this may be beneficial, and assist in referral to a sports medicine physician for prescription of this drug, where appropriate.