Strained Tendon (tendonitis, tendinitis)
The strained tendon is a common yet painful injury that will occur in almost everyone at least once in their lifetime. 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 occurs more easily than the first time and there is usually much more inflammation around a re-injured tendon than there was during the first occurrence of the injury. Tendonitis is a degenerative condition in the tendon fibers that attach muscles to bone, and sufferers generally complain of a severe, burning pain in the area, which gradually worsens and is exacerbated by stress on the joint.
If you got it from a workout, heavily reduce your workout intensity through the healing stage, and make sure the injured tendon be warmed up (and down) properly before and after a workout where it will be stressed. When treating tendinitis, rest the area, apply ice 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. Moist heat may be used after the acute swelling is improved and rest prevents further muscle injury. Ice will reduces initial inflammation and swelling and the moist heat 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. If the patient gradually starting flexing and mobilizing the area, the muscle would probably heal very well.
However, this is not what typical person does; they may ice once or twice and rest a bit, but most often just take some pain relief pills and continue to commence their activities. If the strain was minor, their body may be able to heal the muscle fibers normally. Unfortunately, this is not the usual result because the injured muscle is being used instead of rested. Because of the stress on the muscle, their body heals the injured muscle fibers by binding them together with fibrotic adhesions or scar tissue. This is done in an attempt to prevent further damage to the injured area and is a normal protective response of their body.
To prevent scar tissue buildup 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. If you choose to use steroid injections or are using steroid injections, do NOT treat the area with ultrasound until 30 days after the last injection. Steroid injections break down the tissue in the treated area in an attempt to get it to re-heal properly. Applying ultrasound over areas injected with steroids may increase the damage and can potentially tear the tendon.
The trick to any tendon injury is getting it to heal with minimal scar tissue formation and with as much realignment of 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 this 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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