If someone does a physical activity to excess, they may strain muscles that are overused. This can happen to a retired person working in the garden, or to a well-trained athlete who is pushing themselves too hard. This problem is commonly seen in the "weekend warrior" athlete who sits at a desk all week and then plays softball or tennis all day on the weekend. The resultant muscle strain (mild tear) creates inflammation and pain. This strain usually occurs near the end of the muscle where it attaches to a bone or blends into its tendon, creating a condition known as acute tendinitis. This condition could also be created if the muscle is strained from trauma such as a fall or misstep.
When treating acute tendinitis rest the area, apply cold for 10-20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. Do this to the injured area for the first day to 3 days. Blood flow stimulation therapy (BFST) may be used after the acute swelling is improved and rest prevents further muscle injury. Cold compression will reduce initial inflammation and swelling and the BFST circulates blood through the area to speed the healing process. This can be further helped by the use of ultrasound applications over the affected area, as it reduces swelling quickly and increases blood flow to the area. With rest and light flexing of the foot, the tendon should heal.
However, this is not what typical person does; they may us ice once or twice and rest a bit, but most often,he or she just takes some Advil or Tylenol and continues on with normal activities. If the strain is minor, the body may be able to heal the muscle fibers normally. Unfortunately, this is not the usual result because the injured tendon or muscle is being used instead of rested. Because of the stress on the tendon, the body heals the injured tissue by binding it together with fibrotic adhesions or scar tissue. This is done in an attempt to prevent further damage to the injured area. It is a normal protective response of the body.
To prevent this the patient should apply ultrasound treatment on the area up to three times daily. Ultrasonic energy will naturally "work" the tendon, increasing its flexibility while softening and breaking down scar tissue - which is not something you want in your tendon. Scar tissue is inflexible (non-elastic), and can quickly lead to re-injury of the tendon later down the road.
The trick to any tendon injury is getting it to heal with minimal scar tissue formation and with as much realignment of the tendon fibers as possible - something Inferno Wraps and Therapeutic Ultrasound are great at! Even with optimum healing there is always less elasticity in a previously injured tendon. The trick is to make sure you heal your tendon the best you can, that way your chance of re-injury down the road is much lower than average - which is well over 50%.
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