5 Steps To Fix Tendinitis

Tendinitis may be common, but the solution to finding relief for some reason is NEVER easy!  Fortunately, fixing it can be as easy as a 5 step process!

STEP ONE:  GET THE PROPER DIAGNOSIS

Tendinitis is one of the most overdiagnosed conditions in the body!  It is also one of the most mistreated.  What research has shown over the last few decades is that tendinitis is not the tendinitis that we know.  Tendinitis is most often a DEGENERATIVE condition and rarely an INFLAMMATORY one.

This is a game changer when it comes to treatment.  The classic treatment of tendinitis with rest, ice, compression, elevation, or R.I.C.E, as the common acronym refers, could actually make you worse!  Tendinosis, a degenerative condition, is more prevalent between the 2 diagnosis’ yet less diagnosed, and treatment of the condition requires almost the exact opposite of “R.I.C.E.”  Its treatment is also a 4 step process, but doesn’t come with the fancy acronym.

It is absolutely vital that you get the correct diagnosis for the correct treatment!

For more information between the differences between tendinitis and tendinosis watch this highly informative video here.

Since we already discussed the classic treatment for tendinitis, we will finish the final four steps for fixing tendinosis, the more prevalent yet less treated condition.
STEP TWO:  REDUCE YOUR LOAD

Tendinosis, as mentioned, is degenerative.  This means the tendon is actually breaking down from overuse.  In order for proper recovery to happen a general guideline is to reduce your load by a minimum of 50%.  Each case is unique, though, so it’s important to discuss your load and current activity with your provider.

STEP THREE:  MANUAL THERAPY

As tendon breaks down, weakened, dysfunctional tendon is the result.  Adhesion is the most common, most misdiagnosed and mistreated condition in the body.  When present it also speeds of the rate of degeneration in the body by placing increased stress on muscles, ligaments, nerves, and joints.  The bad tissue has to be removed for complete resolution.  Specifically applied manual therapy is the best treatment option to break down adhesion and the degenerated tendon.

Below is a short video over adhesion.

STEP FOUR: ECCENTRIC EXERCISE

Eccentric exercise is a very specific exercise used to load a tendon.  This helps to regrow stronger, healthier tendon!  Each eccentric exercise is different for each body part.

It is important to note that this type of exercise should only be instated AFTER manual therapy has been effective at breaking down a majority of bad tissue, and it has been determined you are ready for more load to be placed on the injured area.

STEP FIVE:  BRACING

Really, this is a step that can be implemented at any time.  Sometimes bracing should be used at the onset of care.  Other times bracing is used after treatment is going slower than thought.  Depending on the amount of degeneration, tendinosis is a condition that can take more than a few weeks to cure.  Bracing helps to offer support through treatment to aid in recovery and further reduce the load being placed on the injured area.  Usually, you can get away with using a fairly inexpensive brace from a local sporting goods or department store.

Tendinitis is a real pain – often misdiagnosed and mistreated.  If you, or someone you know has been struggling to find relief from tendinitis, you may have been misdiagnosed. You should seek a second opinion.  You deserve better answers and solutions to your problem!


We do hope that you have found this post helpful!  If you or someone you know is struggling with pain and have been diagnosed with tendinitis, we encourage you to share this article with them or get a second opinion.  If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area, we would be happy to help! 

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion and overuse conditions like tendinitis and tendinosis.  Currently, we are the only full body certified Integrative Diagnosis providers in the State of Iowa.  Integrative Diagnosis is the most advanced diagnosis and treatment system for musculoskeletal pain.  To fast track your recovery, call 319-423-0925 or fill out an appointment request here.

Thanks for reading!

6 Questions To Solve Your Neck or Back Pain

If you’re reading this, you most likely suffer from some sort of chronic low back or neck pain.  Ask yourself these following questions:

  1. Is your pain worse in the morning?
  2. Does the pain get better after waking up and moving around?
  3. Have you had multiple or previous episodes of moderate to severe pain?
  4. Does the pain usually last 2-10 days before going away?
  5. Trouble sitting or standing prolonged periods of time?
  6. Are movements “guarded/protected” or noticing decreased range of motion?

 

If you answered “yes” to a majority or all of these questions, you most likely are suffering from a disc injury whether you have been diagnosed with it or not.  Internal Disc Derangement (IDD) accounts for upwards of 40% of all low back pain and a majority of neck pain!

Disc injuries are often made worse by the presence of adhesion.  Adhesion is the most common cause of pain and decreased range of motion in the body.  Adhesion acts like glue on muscles to restrict movement.  Restricted motion causes more load on injured discs, leading to more pain and long term problems.

The good news is that a large majority of disc injuries do not require surgery!  Disc injuries respond well to conservative management and treatment.  By fixing and removing adhesion, discs are essentially “decompressed” and unloaded.  You are left in little to no pain and able to return to regular, daily activity.

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are certified through Integrative Diagnosis for the diagnosis and treatment adhesion.  Our treatment has helped many people looking for answers to their pain.  We have helped patients prevent surgery and those still suffering with pain after surgery.  If you answered “yes” to most or all of the questions above, chances are we can help!  Call our office today at 319-423-0925.

It’s NOT Tendinitis!

Tendinitis is the most misdiagnosed condition of the human body!  What’s worse?  What you’re trying to do to fix your tendinitis is actually making you worse!

Tendinitis (Yes, I am spelling it right. I’m not sure why the spelling of tendon gets changed when used in this context) is characterized as an INFLAMMATORY condition of a tendon.  Rest, ice, and NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory medicine) are prescribed for treatment.  Cortisone injections are also frequently used.  Typically, tendinitis gets WORSE with activity.  Most people suffering with true tendinitis recover within a few weeks.

Tendinosis is probably a term you haven’t heard before.  Tendinosis is a DEGENERATIVE condition of the tendon which produces similar symptoms to tendinitis.  Treatment of tendinosis includes manual therapy for degenerative tissue removal and eccentric exercise to strengthen and repair the damaged tendon.  Symptoms will usually go AWAY with activity. While you may not have heard of tendinosis, tendinosis is FAR more common than its counterpart tendinitis!

I wish I could say that this is a new discovery, but we have known about tendinosis since the 1940’s!  Most of the research shows that almost ALL tendinitis cases are actually degenerative – meaning its tendinosis!

Unfortunately, this also means that the drugs, ice, rest, and cortisone injections you have been using to get better is actually making you worse!  You see rest, ice, and NSAIDS all aim to prevent inflammation and restricts blood flow to the painful area to heal you.  This accelerates the degenerative process.

Since we know that “tendinitis” is degenerative, this leads to the worsening of the condition!  This is why you have been struggling with your pain for longer than just a few weeks!

If you have been struggling to fix your “tendinitis” you need to get a better diagnosis.  You deserve better answers. You deserve a better solution!

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If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area, the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport are among the nation’s best in treating chronic muscle, nerve, and joint pain.  If you are struggling with tendinitis and looking for an expert opinion on what can be done to get you better, call us today at 319-423-0925!

 
Thanks for reading!

Make It Stop! Find Relief!

Staring at the computer desk, it strikes again.  Maybe your head feels like it’s stuck in a vice.  You need relief!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about headaches!

Here is what we know about headaches:

  • 47% of the general population will have AT LEAST one headache this year.
  • 1 in 20 of the general population will have a headache 15 days or more this month!
  • Headaches have been underestimated, under recognized, and under-treated throughout the world
  • Only half of people diagnosed with headache disorders have seen a doctor and only two-thirds have been properly diagnosed!
  • Most common treatment of headaches are over the counter medicine.

So not only are people who have headaches not getting care, the ones who are seeking help are being misdiagnosed and mistreated!  This is a very bad situation to be in if you suffer from headaches!

There are many different types of headaches with a wide variety of symptoms – tension, pounding, fogginess, vice-like pain that constantly returns.  There is a solution to the problem you just need the right diagnosis!

The stats confirm that most people with headaches either self treat with over the counter medication thinking that will solve their problem, or that their headaches are something they just can’t fix.  Seeking medical helps for some, but what happens to the third that’s misdiagnosed?

An overwhelming majority (~70%) of headaches are tension headaches.  The WHO (World Health Organization) identifies the problem as either stress or musculoskeletal problems in the neck.  Most will feel tension or stiffness in the base of the skull or neck.  Medication may provide some relief, but not fix these headaches.

Unfortunately, our modern day lifestyle has led to a pandemic of poor posture and increased stress on our neck.  Think about it.  How much time do you spend in a day looking down at your computer screen or phone.  This sustained contraction and posture wreaks havoc on the muscles of your neck.  Overtime this leads to formation of adhesion – the most common, most misdiagnosed, and mistreated condition in the human body.  Adhesion in the neck gradually leads to even worse posture, decreased posture, pain, and, yes, headaches!

Adhesion

 

So how do you know if you have adhesion?  The good news is that there is a very simple test that you can do to find out!  Just watch the video below.

 

If, after watching this video, you found any part of the test to be difficult or painful, we can help!  By specifically diagnosing and targeting treatment to the structures containing adhesion in the neck you can get back on track to being pain and headache free.  

We pick up where others have failed.  Most patients have been to several providers before finding relief in our office.  If you live in the Cedar Rapids or Iowa City area and suffering with headaches and neck pain, call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment at www.thrivespineandsport.com to get answers to your problem! 
Thanks for reading!

Before You Start CrossFit in Cedar Rapids, Here Is What You Need!

If you are reading this, chances are you are thinking about getting into CrossFit .

Known for brutal workouts and “ideal” looking athletes, CrossFit has created a fitness revolution sweeping, quite literally, the globe. CrossFit appeals to the common person to regain functional strength and get back in shape by beating previous times, reps or weight used.

As with most fitness revolutions, CrossFit has come under some recent scrutiny. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that 73.5 percent of CrossFit participants receive an injury that limits work, activity or participation. This is an alarming number, but also a number not too surprising when the average new member just came from the couch into doing Fran (Fran is the name of CrossFit’s most popular workout).

Overuse, as with any other sport, is the number one cause of injury in CrossFit. It demands that all, not just some, of your body is moving properly. If there are any restrictions in any part of your body, this will lead to injury at some point down the road.

In order to make Cedar Rapids CrossFit, safer we must know our body is ready.

Here are the top 5 assessments to do that:

1. Ankle dorsiflexion. Ankle dorsiflexion is vital to running, jumping and squatting. If your ankle is not working properly, neither will your knee, hip and low back. Check this by standing arm’s length away from a wall. Place a ruler against the wall and foot. Drop the knee to touch the wall without the heel coming off the ground. A healthy range of motion will be around five or six inches.

2. Knee flexion. To check knee flexion, stand supported against the wall or table. Grab the ankle and try to accommodate the back of the heel to the butt, while the quad remains in line with the opposite leg. The heel should easily be able to touch without pain.

3. Hip flexion. Lie on your back. Grab just below one knee and try to bring the knee to chest. The front of the thigh should be able to be pulled flat against the chest without difficulty or pain. A lack of hip flexion alters squat motion and can lead to low back, hip and knee pain.

4. Shoulder abduction. Proper overhead motion and strength is dependent on this motion. Stand upright with arms to the side. Bring your arms up to your ears as close as you can. This should be very easy and without pain. Normal range should find the arm no further than three inches away from the ear, ideally only one inch.

5. Wrist extension. Reduced wrist extension can make front rack position painful and hard. To test, place the forearm flat on the wall with the upper arm shoulder height. Extend the wrist by using the opposite hand to pull the fingers back. The hand and fingers should be able to break 90 degrees to the wall without pain.

To fix these assessments, start a routine of stretching, foam rolling and active mobility to improve these motions. If mobility exercises fail to produce results after a week or two, there are only two options left — avoid the problem or fix the problem!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at dr.cody@thrivespineandsport.com or call us at our office at 319-423-0925.  If you have been struggling with pain, fill out the appointment request on this page.

Chiropractic, PT, or an Educational Booklet: Which Is Better Treatment For Low Back Pain in Cedar Rapids?

Would you believe me if I told you that an educational pamphlet is just as effective as chiropractic care or physical therapy in relieving low back pain?

In 1998, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked to compare the effectiveness of chiropractic, physical therapy, or an educational pamphlet for low back pain.  The conclusion of the study fueled a lively debate.  What the study found was that there was little difference in outcomes between low back pain patients treated with standard chiropractic manipulation, McKenzie exercises, or the educational booklet!  Not surprising, chiropractors and physical therapists alike were outraged from the findings.

While many previous studies done prior have shown chiropractic and physical therapy to be effective for helping with low back pain, why did this study show an educational pamphlet was just as effective?

To start, let’s look at the study design.  The patients were diagnosed with a regional diagnosis, low back pain, after pathology had been ruled out (herniation, cancer, etc.).  This would be no different than saying someone has shoulder pain.  Patients were randomly assigned to either chiropractic, physical therapy, or the educational readings.  This is where things got interesting.

Patients sent to a chiropractor were diagnosed with a sprain/strain 50% of the time, and another 30% of the chiropractic group was diagnosed with facet syndrome, or misalignments of the spine.  The same group of low back pain patients sent to the physical therapist were diagnosed with disc derangement 92% of the time.  This should raise some alarm!  The same group of randomly assigned patients sent to two different providers had significantly different diagnoses!

While it is entirely possible that the provider’s diagnoses were correct, it is highly unlikely that the difference was that dramatic.  It has often been demonstrated that nearly 70 percent of low back pain arises from 3 different sources; disc (39%), facet (15%), and Sacroiliac (SI) joint (13%).  This is where the study inherently failed.

While the study was not specific enough to sub classify low back pain patients into their respective groups, the providers themselves seemed to have classified patients based on what they can fix, not what the patient necessarily had.  McKenzie exercises have been shown to be effective in treatment of pain arising from the disc.  Likewise, chiropractic manipulation would be most effective in treating those struggling with facet and SI joint complications.

While this was not the intent of the study, this ultimately showed where modern day health care has gone wrong!  Too often, providers of any profession try to categorize patient’s problems into what they can fix, and not what the patient actually has.  It comes without saying that patient outcomes would be much higher if patients were given the treatment they need, and not the treatment the provider is certified to practice.   When providers try to fix patients by classifying them into what they can fix and not what the patient actually has, an educational pamphlet has just as much value as chiropractic and physical therapy.

Reference:

Excerpt modified from [Original DC article] by William Brady, DC. Used with permission. www.integrativediagnosis.com