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Overcoming Tendinitis | A Physical Therapists Perspective

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Tendonitis is a common condition that affects people of all ages and activity levels. It occurs when the tendons, which connect muscles to bones, become inflamed and painful. Tendonitis can occur in any part of the body, but it is most common in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle.

Symptoms of Tendonitis

The most common symptoms of tendonitis include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the affected area

  • Stiffness or difficulty moving the joint

  • Weakness in the muscle or joint

  • Swelling or redness around the affected area

Tendonitis is often caused by overuse or repetitive motions. This can happen in athletes who engage in sports that require repetitive motions, such as tennis or baseball. It can also happen in people who have jobs that require repetitive motions, such as typing or assembly line work.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical therapy is an effective treatment for tendonitis. A physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to help you overcome your condition and achieve your goals. This may include:

  • Stretching exercises to improve flexibility and range of motion

  • Strengthening exercises to improve muscle strength and support the joint

  • Manual therapy to reduce pain and inflammation

  • Modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation to reduce pain and inflammation

One of the key benefits of physical therapy is that it can help you avoid surgery or other invasive procedures. For example, if you have tendonitis in your shoulder, your physical therapist can help you strengthen the muscles around your shoulder, improve your range of motion, and reduce pain. This can help you avoid surgery and get back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

In physical therapy we have many tools to help you fully recover from tendonitis. We use manual therapy and soft tissue mobilization to reduce pain and decrease the inflammatory response as well as aid in mobility of the muscle and tendons.

We can use blood flow restriction therapy in the early phases of rehab so that we can reduce load but maintain muscle mass. This takes stress off the tendons while maintaining fitness of the muscles.

We then use a combination of progressive loading, isometrics, and eccentrics to help stimulate healing of the tendon, strengthen muscle, and improve tolerance to loading so that you can return back to your sport or activity as soon as possible.

Physical therapy can also help you manage your condition and prevent it from recurring. Your therapist can teach you exercises to maintain your range of motion and reduce the risk of re-injury. They can also teach you proper posture and body mechanics to reduce the risk of re-injury.

In addition, physical therapy can help you improve your overall physical function and well-being. This can help you stay active and enjoy a better quality of life.

Tips for Overcoming Tendonitis

  • Initial relative rest and avoid activities that aggravate your condition

  • Manage load but make sure to progress strength

  • Wear supportive shoes and orthotics if needed

  • Maintain a healthy habits to aid in recovery

  • Incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your daily routine

Nutrition and Healing

Nutrition and what you eat plays a major roll in recovery from injury. Having adequate macro and micro nutrients is essential. For example, lack of protein can cause slowed healing response. We have seen through studies that combining things like vitamin C and collagen supplementation prior to exercise can help with tendon recovery.

Tendonitis is a common condition that can be debilitating and affect your quality of life. But with the help of physical therapy, you can overcome your condition and achieve your goals. Physical therapy can help you reduce pain, improve range of motion, and prevent re-injury. With the help of a skilled physical therapist, you can improve your overall physical function and well-being. Remember to take care of yourself, rest when necessary and avoid activities that can aggravate your condition. With the right approach, you can overcome tendonitis and live your best life."

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