What Is Tendonitis?
What Are Tendons?
Tendons are tough, cordlike structures that connect muscles to bones. They are responsible for transmitting muscle force to bone and as such are needed for allowing body movement and overall joint stability.
"Tendons consist of collagens, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, water and cells. Tendons are rich in collagens with the most abundant tendon component being type I collagen, constituting about 60% of the tendon and about 95% of the total collagen. The remaining 5% consist of type III and V collagens. In normal tendons, type III collagen is mainly located in the endotenon and epitenon. However, it is also found in aging tendons and at the insertion sites of highly stressed tendons such as the supraspinatus. Type III collagen forms smaller less well organised fibrils and type I collagen, which may result in decreased mechanical strength."
"Tendon Healing Mechanobiology | Shoulderdoc By Prof. Lennard Funk". 2019. Shoulderdoc.Co.Uk. Accessed May 16 2019. https://www.shoulderdoc.co.uk/article/1029.
Despite the fact that they are ropelike, tendons are actually living tissue; they can and do change properties over time depending on external factors - most physical. With appropriate physical training, tendons will respond by increasing in size and strength. However, if physical training is not done appropriately it leads to overuse injuries which means the tendon will typically undergo inflammation. It is further known by the medical community that lack of use of tendons (immobilisation) will lead to a reduction in stiffness, strength and total weight of the tendon. There have been studies done showing that immobilisation of a tendon will cause uneven and irregular collagen fibres, resulting in a tendon less able to handle high stress loads before breaking down.
What Is Tendonitis?
Tendonitis / tendinitis (pronounced "tendonitus") means you are suffering from a condition where a tendon in your body is injured, inflamed or irritated. There are many tendons in our bodies that are made of fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bones.
Anyone can suffer from tendonitis, but it's most common in adults due to degeneration of tissue as we age. If you have tendonitis you'll usually feel pain located where your injury is and in the surrounding area. If you suffer from a tendon rupture (ruptured tendon) you might hear a sudden pop or experience severe pain immediately after you're injured. Tendon ruptures usually only happen from accidents or pre-disposed conditions that weaken the tendon - like repeated injections of cortisone, calcium deposits (spurs) around a joint or other diseases (ie. gout). Tendon ruptures usually require surgery to re-attach the tendon to the bone, and if left untreated can result in permanent disability of the affected area.
Immediate tendon injury treatment usually consists of avoiding any activity that makes your pain worse (or caused your injury in the first place), resting your injured area, icing the area, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (reference: 1).
Symptoms of Tendinitis
You might be suffering from a Tendon Injury such as Tendonitis if:
- You feel a dull aching pain, especially when moving the affected area or joint.
- There is tenderness around the injured area.
- You have any swelling or inflammation - even on-going swelling over time.
- You are experiencing a loss of strength in the area
- Your injured area is hot to the touch or red.
- You sometimes feel a crackling or grating when moving the injured area.
- You feel a lump along the tendon
- You find it hard to move or notice reduced range of motion - especially if you experience more pain from moving the affected area.
If you're suffering from some of those symptoms and now wondering why your injury is taking so long to heal, it's important for you to know that tendonitis is an inflammatory condition where the pain, swelling and inflammation can go on for weeks or even months.
You could have acute tendonitis (an injury that happened suddenly from an accident or from overuse / repetitive actions) or chronic tendonitis (an injury or re-injury that weeks, months or even years old). Either way your tendonitis injury will have a painful impact on the quality of your life.
At this point your mobility - like your ability to walk, run, jump, carry or pick up object or other activities that you would normally do - is probably impaired... Leaving you with very limited range of motion in the affected area or joint.
Healing your tendonitis can be a difficult task, especially if you're suffering from pain in a general area and have no idea what type of injury you're facing.
Tendon Strain & Re-Injury
Everyone will strain their tendon at least once in their lifetime. Straining your tendon is a common injury but the trick with a strained tendon is to make sure it heals properly which will provide the lowest chance of re-injury.
Re-injury of a strained or stressed tendon happens more easily than the original injury. When your tendon is re-injured there's also usually more inflammation. Tendonitis is a degenerative condition in the tendon fibers that attach muscles to bone. People with tendonitis generally complain of a severe, burning pain in the area, that gradually gets worse and becomes even more painful from stress on the joint.
If you have tendonitis that's from working out or exercising, you should heavily reduce your workout intensity through the healing stage and make sure the injured tendon is warmed up (and cooled down) properly before and after a workouts. When treating tendinitis, rest the area, apply cold compression for 10-20 minutes at a time for at least 3 times a day. Do this to the injured area for the first day up to 3 days.
Grades of Tendon Strain
- Mild tendon strains = The tendon has been stretched or pulled, slightly.
- Moderate tendon strain = Some function will be lost as the tendon has been overstretched and may be slightly torn.
- Severe tendon strains = The tendon is partially or completely ruptured, often disabling the person.
What Kind of Tendonitis Do You Have?
There are many kinds of tendonitis affecting different areas of the body. Some forms of tendonitis include:
A group of tendons on the top, bottom and along the sides of the foot connect muscles in the leg to the bones in the arch and toes of the foot. A strain to one of the tendons will cause pain in your arch and toes and make it difficult to walk. Posterior Tibial Tendonitis is the most common form of foot tendonitis. These injuries can be caused from over-use, improper stretching or poor form while walking or during any physical activity. Some people with arch issues (ie. that have a flat foot) or arthritis will be at risk of getting tendonitis.
Sesamoiditis is another form of foot tendonitis that's not often thought about. You will know if you have sesamoiditis if you experience most of your pain in the ball of your foot.
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With this injury you'll feel pain in your ankle, swelling and your ankle may feel warm to the touch. You might also feel some weakness or instability in your foot and ankle joints. Severe ankle tendonitis (tendinosis) may increase the height of the arch in your foot. The most common form of ankle tendonitis is Peroneal Tendonitis. If left untreated, ankle tendonitis could turn into tendinosis or a complete tendon rupture.
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One of the major tendons in the leg to get injured is the plantaris tendon. This tendon is in the middle of the calf muscle, on the back of the leg and attached to the Achilles tendon (a major tendon just above the back of your heel). A tear of the plantaris tendon can cause pain in the calf muscle (sometimes described as a stabbing pain) and if the tendon is ruptured there might be a sudden pop. This injury usually occurs during sports or related activities like Tennis. Plantaris tendonitis is also referred to as "tennis leg" or related to tennis leg (calf muscle) injuries.
Tendons in the knee usually get injured from athletic or sporting activities like rugby, football, volleyball, or any activity involving running and jumping. Individuals with arthritis or osteoarthritis in their knee may also experience knee tendonitis due to the degeneration of bone and tissue in their knee joint. The most common type of knee tendonitis is patellar tendonitis, also sometimes referred to as 'jumper's knee'. If you have knee tendonitis some of the symptoms you'll experience are pain, swelling and inflammation around the injured area. The severity of your pain depends on the amount of damage that's been done to your tendon. Some other common forms of knee tendonitis include quadriceps tendonitis, pes anserine tendonitis, hamstring tendonitis and popliteus tendonitis.
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Hip / Thigh tendonitis
This kind of injury usually happens from overuse of the tendons in the hip and thigh from activities like running, cycling, football, hockey or soccer. If you've suddenly increased your activity level to include exercise, cardio or any other sporting activity then you might be at risk of getting hip or thigh tendonitis. If you suffer from gluteus medius tendonitis you'll probably notice more pain when walking and a weakness in your legs. This type of tendonitis may also be caused by a difference in the length of your legs (leg-length discrepancy).
Other forms of tendonitis - like iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) or adductor tendonitis - can present pain in different areas. IT Band syndrome may cause pain on the side of your hip that radiate down to your knee (the IT Band is connected to your hip AND knee). Hip alignment issues or regularly running may cause this condition. Adductor tendonitis may transfer pain into your inner thigh. This condition is also usually experienced by individuals who play hockey, football or soccer. For this injury, pain will be felt when stretching or twisting your torso during exercise or athletic activity.
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Wrist / Hand Tendonitis
Tendonitis of the wrist (extensor / flexor tendonitis) usually happens from overuse of the hands and wrists. This can happen from certain jobs that require a lot of hand / wrist movement (ie. assembly line work, tailor, production sewer, mechanic, gardener, painter, office worker, cashier, etc). Although it hasn't been medically proven, tendonitis in the wrist and hand can sometimes be linked to extended use of computer keyboards and other handheld devices (cell phones, PDAs, gaming systems). With this injury you'll feel pain and swelling in your wrist or hand, and extreme cases may have some nerve damage (carpal tunnel syndrome) with atrophy (wasting away) of the thumb muscle. Other conditions like de Quervain's tendonitis, and thumb tendonitis may mean a thickening of the tissue in your thumb or your pointer finger may be permanently stuck in a bent position (sometimes referred to as 'trigger finger' or 'trigger thumb').
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Forearm tendonitis injuries are common injuries and are easily treated with the leg/arm T•Shellz Wrap®. In such cases pain, swelling and inflammation will be felt in the forearm, usually when holding heavy objects or even just from typing on a keyboard (overuse injury). In all cases, the Arm / Leg Cold Compress or Ice Pack will reduce pain, swelling and inflammation while treatment with the Arm/Leg T•Shellz Wrap® will help mend the damage and increase Blood Flow to the injury, resulting in a faster healing time.
The best part about the Leg/Arm wraps are their universality. They can be used pretty much anywhere on the arms or leg - wherever there the pain may be.
Arm tendonitis (tricep, bicep)
The triceps tendon is the major tendon of the arm and this tendon connects the triceps muscle to the bony point of the elbow. Full rupture of the tricep tendon in the arm is one of the rarest tendon injuries and can usually only happen after some kind of trauma (accident). If you have tricep tendonitis you'll experience pain, swelling and inflammation around the top of your elbow.
The biceps tendon is in the upper arm attaching at the front of the shoulder. This is more commonly injured than the triceps tendon and is more apt to occur. The distal biceps tendon is on the other end of the biceps muscle and attaches to the forearm just ahead of the inner elbow location. Injuries to both of these tendons is relatively common, especially for those that often handle heavy items. Most at risk are bodybuilders, certain types of athletes that depend on arm strength and heavy manual laborers.
Your shoulders are the most mobile joints in your body. The most common forms of shoulder tendonitis include calcific tendonitis, supraspinatus tendonitis (rotator cuff tendonitis) and bicep tendonitis. Calcific tendonitis is a condition where bone (a calcium deposit) has grown in the middle of one of your rotator cuff tendons. The causes of this injury are still a mystery to many medical professionals, but the body can eventually (over time) re-absorb the calcium deposit so it will disappear.
Supraspinatus tendonitis can sometimes happen with shoulder impingement syndrome. Individuals that work in jobs with repeated overhead activity and athletes participating in swimming, tennis and volleyball are most affected by this injury. If you have supraspinatus tendonitis you'll experience pain, swelling and inflammation on the side of your shoulder (around the deltoid muscle).
Much like supraspinatus tendonitis, bicep tendonitis is caused by repetitive overhead activities like swimming, tennis and baseball or even lifting weights. If you have bicep tendonitis you'll experience pain, swelling and inflammation at the front of your shoulder. Bicep tendonitis is a common condition that occurs with other problems in the shoulder joint.
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Tendonitis Treatment -
What You Can Do!
We Have Advanced Treatment Tools to Help You
Speed Up Healing of Your Tendonitis!
Step 1 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with Cold Compression
The 1st step for conservative treatment of your tendonitis is to reduce the swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal sesamoiditis injuries. This is why for years doctors, trainers and other medical professionals have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal tendon injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your tendonitis right when you first notice the pain, when you have swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a Cold Compress or Ice Pack right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
Use Cold Compression Ice Packs:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling around your tendon to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury of your tendonitis.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your tendon tissue is tender, painful or you're having a flare-up of an old tendonitis injury.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your injury.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Soft Tissue Regeneration Therapy
After the inflammation has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue is recommended.
Using Soft Tissue Regeneration Therapy (Soft Tissue Therapy), will help with your recovery and heal your tendon more completely. Soft Tissue Therapy increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your tendons, improve elasticity and speed up the healing process. This increased Soft Tissue Regeneration Therapy to your injured tendon is greatly needed.
The only way to get Soft Tissue Therapy is through use of a T•Shellz Wrap®. The T•Shellz Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming up tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach your tendons on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and you might even get burned!
The best source of blood flow circulation treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue Soft Tissue Therapy works too! You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the energy isn't treating your skin, it's treating your injured tendon, increasing the blood flow right in your tendon tissue.
- When treating tendonitis or any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while the joint is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- In our opinion, the T•Shellz Wrap® is the most highly effective deep heat medical device on the market that is registered with the FDA and available for home use.
Use Soft Tissue Therapy T•Shellz Wraps®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up your tendon and prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to warm up your tissues before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel your tendon has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility.
Use Conservative Treatments to Deal with Scar Tissue
It's also important to rest the torn tendon because our natural healing process takes time to heal completely. If you don't rest your torn tendon, your acute tendonitis can quickly turn into a chronic tendonitis injury. To repair our damaged tendon tissue quickly, our bodies will use scar tissue to fill in the tears in the tendon. If you need to rest for an extended period of time and avoid certain activities that make your pain worse, you will be more likely to develop massive amounts of this scar tissue as a temporary healing measure.
Unfortunately, scar tissue will lay down in a messy, complicated way. The scar tissue won't grow straight along with the surrounding healthy tissue in your tendon. Instead this scar tissue will grow all jumbled up in all directions. While scar tissue grows this way it will ultimately lead to long-term stiffening in your tendon, and may even entrap (squeeze on) a nerve, restrict movement, reduce elasticity / flexibility, and cause poor blood flow circulation.
Scar tissue may plague you for weeks, months and maybe even years, depending on your level of activity and the amount of conservative treatments you have done during your rehabilitation. Scar tissue is a major problem, especially when it comes to re-injury of your tendon. When dealing with scar tissue it's always important to:
- listen well to your physician and if conservative treatments are recommended, remember to stick to your (daily) treatment plan using these therapies.
- frequent use of the Cold Compress or Ice Pack will help reduce the swelling very quickly. Much of the pain you feel will be from the swelling, and you'd be surprised how fast the pain drops off once the swelling is down.
- T•Shellz Wrap® is a safe, electromagnetic energy device that will help reduce scar tissue and increase blood flow to the area (thereby accelerating the body's own healing process).
- when applied before stretching, the T•Shellz Wrap® will help flush the area with fresh blood. This will help improve your range of motion and prevent re-injury.
Our Tendonitis Therapy Formula
is Proven to Work!
It may seem hard to believe, but our Cold Compress or Ice Pack and T•Shellz Wrap® home therapy products will assist you in recovering from your tendonitis by maximizing blood flow where it's needed most and reducing your swelling and inflammation induced pain.
Here at AidYourTendon we pride ourselves in helping you with your healing and recovery process. Everyone at AidYourTendon has tested and used the products, finding solutions to conditions that do not fit into the norm. This dedication to our customers and our products goes hand-in-hand with our guarantees to you as a customer:
- Guarantee #1 - Use your products diligently for up to 60 days and you will experience a significant reduction in pain. If not, I encourage you to send back the items for a 100% refund.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!