Will PRP, PT, and massage help my long-term achilles injury?

Back in the spring of 2016, while training for Denali, I injured my Achilles tendon. At first it was just “tendonitis.” I’d recently had great help from a physical therapist in recovering from an IT band injury on the same leg, but they couldn’t seem to bill my insurance properly. So I did eccentric heel drops on my own and hoped for the best.

A year of work-induced rest post-Denali did not heal my Achilles. And of course, further mountaineering didn’t either. I finally went to a doctor and started seeing a physical therapist in January of 2020. This first PT provided relief for the pain, but did nothing to address underlying issues. I switched PTs in the summer of 2020. While my biomechanics have improved under her care, she recommended I get a PRP injection to jump start the healing process.

Every other blog I’ve read about PRP recovery starts ends about 6 weeks after the injection, begging the question of WHAT HAPPENED? So this blog is intended to tell a longer-term story about injury and the fun climbing adventures that come after recovery.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. I am writing about my own first-hand experiences. I will occasionally link to medical sites for background, but nothing on this page constitutes medical advice. I have a care team: doctor, physical therapist, massage therapist. If you have an Achilles injury, you might need a whole team too!