What Is Tendonitis?
Simply put, tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. Now, tendons are tough, flexible, and fibrous, but they can be strained either directly through a sudden injury or strain, or slowly over time through overuse. Along with the tendon itself, the sheath that surrounds the tendon can become inflamed as well. This is referred to as tenosynovitis.
What Causes Tendonitis?
Injuries that occur suddenly and repetitive motions. If you type all day at work like a writer, think about the tendons in your hands, your knees, your lower back, and your knees if you play basketball every week. The majority of tendonitis cases are brought on by overuse, which means that the tendons aren’t given enough time to unwind and heal over a lengthy period of time, leading to their wear and tear.Then, of course, we must consider how tendons age with the body and become more susceptible to inflammation as we get older.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Tendonitis?
Movement is usually the key indicator, or in other words, moving the muscles attached to the tendon. If you experience pain and it gets worse through your range of motion that’s a sign. If you ever feel like there’s a crackling or grating feeling that’s a serious sign as well. After an injury to the tendon you may see some swelling, it may become hot in the affected area, and you may even see a lump develop. If you see a redness under the skin, that could be blood showing you’ve torn the tendon and should seek medical attention.
Which Body Parts Does Tendonitis Affect?
Well, if we don’t count all the many smaller muscles all over everywhere, there are approximately 1,320 tendons in your body. As such, there are far too many potential places for tendonitis to strike to list here. It often depends on your activities, lifestyle, health, etc. The most common include Achilles tendinitis, shoulder tendons, tennis elbow, the hands, wrists, and knees. What’s important is how it’s impacting your life. The first step is getting a proper diagnosis.
How Long Does Tendonitis Last?
It depends on your specific circumstances, how you and your body handled the early discomfort (rest, hot and cold packs, etc.), and other factors. If the injury is more severe, we may bandage the affected area, place it in a splint or brace, and provide you with support to reduce the amount of time those muscles are used. In actuality, if you don’t (somewhat) rest, it can develop worse and cause longer, more serious difficulties. Wait at least until the inflammation has subsided before attempting to resume your normal exercise routine.
How to Treat Tendonitis?
Other than rest? Better Health Chiropractic offers a comprehensive set of options ranging from chiropractic services to massage and physical rehabilitation therapies. At home, you can use rolling and myofascial release, function-strength conditioning exercises, and ice. Addressing any underlying causes of tendonitis (misalignments, strains, joint issues, etc.) is essential for recovery. Treatment will vary according to the needs of each patient.
How to Prevent Tendonitis?
First, be attentive about stretching your muscles and joints before strenuous physical activity. It is incredible how often people wait until they experience a tendon injury before taking stretching seriously. Then it’s about practicing good general health habits and providing yourself with enough time to recover (take breaks once per hour from repetitive motions and sitting). The tendons need to rest, as do your muscles, or there can be no improvement in physical function.
Stretches & Exercises for Tendonitis
Whether it’s a tendon in your calf or lower back, there are a ton of ways to stretch without making things worse. In fact, stretching and specific types of movements can hasten your recovery and ensure you don’t become stiff or lose range of motion. There are far too many to list here, but as part of working with any of our Alaska chiropractors, massage therapists, or physical rehabilitation specialists, you’ll learn all about the options and how to perform them.