What is Tendonitis?
Tendonitis is a condition that occurs when a tendon that connects bone to muscle is injured, overused, or used improperly. The result is inflammation, pain and sometimes swelling. In the case of an injury where the tendon is stressed or otherwise injured, the soft tissues around the area may also become swollen and painful. Each year more than 4 million people in the U.S. seek medical treatment for symptoms of tendonitis.
Common types of tendonitis include runner’s knee, tennis elbow, and pitcher’s shoulder. However, other tendons in the body can also experience tendonitis symptoms. The Achilles tendon, ankle, wrist, and even fingers can all become inflamed from the condition.
Often a primary care physician diagnoses the injury, but once there is a definitive diagnosis, the best treatment is one that is natural and holistic. Chiropractic care is an outstanding choice for treatment.
Tendonitis often recurs in many people. This is due mostly to improper or incomplete healing. Many people will resume normal activities as soon as the pain subsides when they should continue caring for the injury so that it can heal completely. Returning to normal activity too soon leads to inflammation of the area again as the original injury is aggravated, but it can also lead to re-injury in that same area. Chiropractic care can help tendonitis heal completely and help prevent re-injury to the area.
Chiropractic Treatment for Tendonitis
Since tendonitis symptoms can mimic other serious conditions, the first step in treatment is confirming the diagnosis. The doctor may use X-rays, MRIs, or CAT scans to make a positive diagnosis of tendonitis.
From there, the chiropractor will work with the patient to develop a treatment plan that is natural and effective, tailored to the patient’s unique needs. At the core of this treatment is a targeted plan that treats the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
If there is a great deal of inflammation the chiropractor may employ inflammation reducing techniques such as bracing, rest, ice, cold laser therapies, electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, and other therapies. This helps to loosen the tendon and lessen the inflammation so that treatment can progress.
Once the inflammation is under control, the chiropractor may begin physical therapy, joint manipulation, and strengthening exercises. When the patient has diminished or limited joint mobility then joint manipulation or adjustments may be the best option.
Length of Treatment
Pain may subside or even disappear within the first two weeks fo care, but that does not mean that the injured tendon is healed. Patients mistakenly believe that once the pain is gone, the condition is healed but it takes up to 8 weeks for most injuries to heal completely and properly and quitting care the moment relief is felt is where many patients go wrong.
The chiropractor will use various techniques including deep tissue therapy, dry needling or ultrasound to break down and soften the scar tissue. Mild stretches may be incorporated into the treatment plan. Once the tissues are fully healed, exercise can aid in breaking down the scar tissue even more. These exercises will work the muscles but they won’t involve the tendons.
Healing Tendonitis for Good
Chiropractors take a whole-body approach, including diet, specific supplements, and lifestyle choices that will help the healing process of tendonitis. Follow your chiropractor’s recommendations for care and see it through for complete healing.
Dr. Hoch (pronounced Hoke), is a 1988 Graduate of Peotone High School and a 1990 Graduate of Joliet Junior College. She received both her B.S. in Human Biology (1991) and her Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) (1993) from The National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, IL. She also received her graduate and post-graduate certifications in Acupuncture from NCC. This article is copyrighted and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Dr. Hoch.