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Do You Have Tendonitis?

This article discusses tendonitis - what it is, how you get it and what you can do for it.

Many of us have had at one time or another some sort of muscular pain in our lives.  Previously we talked about how over exertion or begining a new exercise program can lead to some muscle soreness.  But I'm willing to bet many of you have had muslce soreness that may not have been associated with a particular event.  You may have even went to see a doctor about it and he/she said that you had tendonitis of some body part - for instance shoulder tendonitis or ankle tendonitis etc.

What is tendonitis?  The answer seems very simple if you break down the word:  TENDON - the end of a muscle that connects the muscle to a bone.  ITIS - inflammation.  Put it back together and we have inflammation of a tendon.

In practical terms what does that mean to us?  Typically tendonitis will cause the muscle to be sore to the touch.  In addition, it will be sore if you contract or use the sore muscle/tendon.  The case we talked about last week -tennis elbow- would be an example of a tendonitis.  You may also notice some swelling around the sore area as well.  These would be the classic signs and syptoms of tendonitis.

Once you have tendonitis, the issue becomes how do you get rid of tendonitis.  We discussed resting and use of ice on a new injury, and that applies for tendonitis as well.  Many times that is not enough.  Ultimately its important to identify the cause of the tendon irritation so you can effectively treat it.  Sometimes it can be due to direct trauma such as a fall but the majority of the times the pain comes on without an obvious reson. Many times it is a combination of less obvious physical factors that when added up can cause tendonitis. It then becomes my job, as a physical therapist to figure out those specific factors through a musculoskeletal exam.  The good news is that with treatment tendonitis can, and should, resolve completely.

Next week we are going to change gears and talk about exercise and diabetes, but stay tuned because tendonitis, and its ugly cousin tendonosis, will be popping up on this blog again. 

I also have a good video newsletter for the month of June up on my website that goes over proper warm-up routines for exercise.

Comments and questions are encouraged!

Yours in health,

Chris Ostling PT, DPT

www.nextsteppt.com

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Papa Tom June 24, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Oooh,,,PSYCH! I thought you were going to tell me how to get RID of my tendonitis! The fancy, expensive doctor I saw in Great Neck told me to leave it alone for a year and it'd be gone by now. Instead, it's much worse.
Chris Ostling PT, DPT June 25, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Papa Tom Sorry to hear you've been struggling for so long. Not really sure why waiting for a year would be the advice you were given but the majority of tendinitis can be resolved with physical therapy within 4-8 weeks. For instance we have a few different protocols depending on the specific tendinitis that you have that work very well. Generally speaking, tendinitis responds well to specific types of exercises bases on the particular tendinitis. It's my pleasure to answer any more of your questions or to help you get rid of your tendinitis Chris
Plainview Mom June 25, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Papa Tom - I struggled with tendonitis in my elbow and in my wrist for a long time as well. I tried rest, icing and even had cortisone shots. None of that worked. I was willing to try anything, so I tried acupuncture and it worked!. I can once again exercise, type and do all the things that were so painful in the past.
Plainview Mom June 25, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Papa Tom - I struggled with tendonitis in my elbow and in my wrist for a long time as well. I tried rest, icing and even had cortisone shots. None of that worked. I was willing to try anything, so I tried acupuncture and it worked!. I can once again exercise, type and do all the things that were so painful in the past.
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