Massage for Tendonitis: How Does It Help Ease the Pain?


Massage for Tendonitis: How Does It Help Ease the Pain?

One of the worst things about tendonitis is that the pain can put an absolute stop on your life, for weeks or even months, and no one seems aware of it.

If you have tendonitis, then you’ve probably heard comments from your boss, co-workers, perhaps even family members that say, “You don’t look injured.”  Tendonitis is the injury no one can see, but you certainly can feel!

What is Tendonitis?

These are the strong connective tissue that attaches your muscles to the bones. Anywhere you have a joint, you have tendons. When the tendon becomes irritated or becomes severely inflamed, you have tendonitis. The most common places to develop tendonitis is elbows, biceps, neck, knees, wrists, and Achilles.

The tendon becomes inflamed usually from overuse, such as being a professional tennis player or violin player. This is not the only cause of tendonitis, however. Lifting heavy weights, or improper form when exercising can also irritate the tendons.

You will know you have tendonitis when you feel a burning or sharp stabbing pain in the joints, swelling in the area, tenderness, muscle weakness, and/or a grating feeling when the joint moves.

Unlike muscles, tendons have almost no veins to bring them healing nutrients from a fresh supply of blood. This means tendons can take a long time to heal. Depending on the amount of damage, anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Imagine not moving your arm for 2 to 6 weeks. Chances are, that isn’t going to happen, right? This can cause scar tissue to form, which causes tendonitis even longer to heal.

How to Heal Tendonitis?

The typical response from doctors is the RICE method- this is rest, ice, compression, elevation. You will still need 2-6 weeks to heal the tendon.

You must be wondering if there isn’t anything else that you can do!

Luckily, there is- Massage Therapy.

Tendonitis – Can Massage Therapy Help?

Yes, it can! There are several types of massage therapy for tendonitis that have been shown to help ease the pain while encouraging the tendon to heal and decrease inflammation.

The best types of massage for tendonitis include:

Sports Massage

This type of massage is quite effective for both managing pain and treating the tendon. This has also been shown to be very effective for treating those with tendonitis in the Achilles tendon. Sports massage for the Achilles tendon not only massages the area to relieve pain, but it also stretches and stimulates the muscles, relieving tension on the tendon.

Deep Transverse Friction Massage (DTFM)

A qualified massage therapist, such as the ones employed by chiropractors, will use short back and forth movements with the pads of their fingers or the thumb to increase friction in the area. This massage moves around the affected area, rather than directly on the tendon or over it. This causes an active release that is very effective for those with scar tissue or abrasions.

Deep Tissue Massage

For those with tendonitis in the knees, this type of massage can work wonders. A deep tissue massage uses slow strokes but very firm pressure, which reaches deep into the muscle and fascia, providing relief for chronic pain sufferers. Deep tissue massage will also break up scar tissue, reduce swelling, and improve circulation.

Where to Get the Best Massage?

Since chances are good that you aren’t going to leave your tendonitis alone for weeks, you are looking for other ways to help it heal faster. Comprehensive chiropractic care, which includes chiropractic massage, has been proven to be one of the best ways to deal with tendonitis.

Massage has so many benefits, it’s interesting that more people don’t get regular massage therapy sessions as a part of their overall health plan.

With more people recognizing how good massage is for the body, and how chiropractic care can fit into their health goals, it’s no wonder why most chiropractic offices have massage therapists right there in their clinic. There is no need to drive to your chiropractor’s appointment, then drive to another location to get a massage and trying to explain what kind of problem you are having. Chiropractic massage does it all in one location.

Chiropractic massage varies somewhat from a massage performed at a day-spa in that the chiropractor, who is aware of your injuries, can direct the massage therapist as to where you have been injured and the type of massage that would be best for you at that moment in your recovery.

Let’s Face It- Chances are that Your Tendonitis Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

This is because the majority of people have full lives to lead and can’t imagine how they will manage to take 6-8 weeks off!

Of course, resting your foot, arm, or leg as much as possible will help, but it won’t allow your tendonitis to heal in days.

In addition to rest, the injured joint must have some sort of stretching/strengthening exercises applied so that it not only can heal properly but in order to prevent this injury from happening again.

The Best Way to Treat Tendonitis

Hands down, the best way to treat tendonitis and prevent it from becoming chronic and needing surgery is to see your chiropractor and ask them about massage therapy when you first notice the symptoms.

Living with tendonitis in any part of the body can become a painful nightmare that never really seems to go away.

Treating tendonitis is as easy as a phone call to your chiropractor. Be sure to tell them that you are interested in chiropractic massage as well, so they can schedule plenty of time for your visit.

One of the best things about having your massage done at your chiropractor’s clinic is you don’t need to wonder if the therapist you have chosen is qualified!

Don’t let tendonitis put you on the sidelines for the next few weeks! Call Better Health Anchorage today for an appointment or you can book a massage therapy online here.

Dr. Brent Wells

About the Author

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.

Dr. Brent Wells is an actively practicing chiropractic physician that has personally led over 10,000 Alaskans to more active, pain-free lifestyles since 1998. He is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Anchorage and Juneau where he brings a progressive and highly innovative approach to chiropractic care. Dr. Wells continues to further his education with ongoing studies in spine conditions, neurology, physical rehabilitation, biomechanics, occupational ergonomics, whiplash, and brain injury traumatology. He is also a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.

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