Nitroglycerin patches help tendon pain

Cut the dose if they cause headaches, doctor suggests

Nitroglycerin patches help patients with overuse tendon injuries in the shoulders, wrists, heels and knees, a research review suggests.

Senior author Dr Neal Millar, of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, says that while topical nitroglycerin has been examined for tendon pain for more than two decades, research to date has offered a mixed picture of how well it works for this purpose.

Dr Millar and colleagues analysed data from 10 smaller clinical trials, which randomly assigned some patients with tendon pain to use nitroglycerin patches and others to an alternative treatment or a placebo patch.

After six months of treatment, transdermal nitroglycerin provided more pain relief than placebo, Dr Millar and team report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

"This matters for patients because all other current pharmacological and injection therapies have failed to produce