Injuries sure can take the fun out of play, or make work painful or even impossible. A very common injury is tendonitis. Tendonitis (or tendinitis) is an inflammation of the tendon or cord of fibrous tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. It is often accompanied by tenosynovitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the tendon sheath. The symptoms of these conditions are pain and tenderness at or near a joint, especially when you move the affected limb, possible swelling over the area, and in some cases numbness, tingling, and/or a burning sensation, as well as a crackling sound, called crepitus. Stiffness, along with the pain can restrict movement of the joint involved.
The exact cause of the inflammation is often unknown, but may result from repeated trauma, excessive strain or overuse of the tendon. Repetitive strain injuries are most often related to the type of work that a person does — file clerks, hairdressers, musicians, car mechanics, massage therapists — as well as anyone who works for long, uninterrupted hours on a computer are predisposed to this type of overuse injury. Also, those that play hard can also suffer — rock climbers tend to develop it in their fingers and elbows. Generally, tendonitis will develop when the stresses on a tendon overwhelm the body’s repair mechanisms. For instance, irregular or too-strenuous exercise along with not warming up properly can also make one prone to tendonitis — the “weekend warrior”. People who are overweight have a higher risk of tendonitis because of the increased pressure on tendons, ligaments, and bones.
Tendonitis is most often seen in the shoulder (rotator cuff tendonitis), elbow (tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow), wrist, hand and thumb (de Quervain’s disease), knee (jumper’s knee), ankle (Achilles tendonitis), and hip. Any activity performed frequently with poor body mechanics will place stress on some structural weak link — often a tendon.
Most times, you can treat tendonitis with rest and physical therapy. But often the painful symptoms persist, and acupuncture is the answer!
Acupuncture gives excellent results in both acute and chronic cases of tendonitis. Acupuncture can help manage the pain of tendonitis while decreasing inflammation of the tendon. More importantly, acupuncture can be used for targeted muscle inhibition with the goal of reinforcing or re-establishing proper body mechanics through motor recruitment patterns. This will address the root cause of the inflammation and pain.
Acute cases can often be resolved in a few treatments. However, many people with this problem suffer from very chronic conditions. These cases can be treated with good results too, but the more long-standing the condition, the longer it will take to resolve. Acupuncture can successfully restore the tendon’s ability to function properly and improve healing, and regular acupuncture “tune-ups” can also aid in preventing the development of tendonitis in the first place, as well as preventing a recurrence of tendonitis once it has been relieved.
Leave the tenderness for the heart, let your tendons be strong!
For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
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