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.

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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!

Is It Tendinitis?

Tendinitis and tendinosis. One you’ve probably heard before.  The other, probably not. While they both sound the same, in reality they are worlds apart.

Tendinitis is, by definition, inflammation of a tendon.  Tendinosis on the other hand is defined as chronic tendinitis and implies chronic tendon degeneration without the presence of inflammation. Basically, one is short-term with inflammation, the other long-term, without inflammation, though both are caused typically by overuse.

soccerTendinitis, the most popular diagnosis of the two, usually presents with swelling and tenderness at the sight of pain, often accompanied by stiffness, and less often by weakness. Tendinosis presents most often with stiffness, tenderness to the touch, and weakness–almost identical to tendinitis. Recovery of tendinitis lasts anywhere from days to six weeks, a relatively “quick fix.” Tendinosis recovery can last a few short weeks to a couple months or more depending on the level of degeneration. If left untreated, tendinosis often leads to “tear” injuries.

While both conditions are classically treated with conservative measures, the difference in care is absolutely critical to resolution of the problem. Conservative management stems around rest and anti-inflammatory medication for tendinitis, while conservative management of tendinosis aims to restore tendon regrowth and strength through manual therapy and eccentric exercise.

Both, occur most often in the Achilles tendon (ankle), patellar tendon (knee), proximal hamstring (high hamstring), common extensor tendon (elbow), and the supraspinatus tendon (shoulder).

With both of these problems being so relatively close, while treatment is vastly different, proper diagnosis is vital to the recovery process! So which one do you have? Let’s go to the research.

While tendinitis is the wildly over-popular diagnosis among general practitioners, it may not be the case. Most research coming out on this topic is now showing that at a cellular level, once believed tendinitis actually is, in fact, tendinosis.

According to Almekinders and Temple, “Most currently practicing general practitioners were taught, and many still believe, that patients who present with overuse tendinitis have a largely inflammatory condition and will benefit from anti-inflammatory medication. Unfortunately this dogma is deeply entrenched. Ten of 11 readily available sports medicine texts specifically recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs despite the lack of clinical evidence.”

In light of this, chances are that if you have been diagnosed with tendinitis the diagnosis was incorrect. Furthermore, traditional, conservative treatment, of such, with the use of anti-inflammatories, corticosteroid injections, and/or pain medication may have left you worse off long term even though pain may have dissipated short term (but this conversation is for a different time). These methods were designed to eliminate inflammation, not regrow tendon. As mentioned above, treatment of tendinosis should be aimed at restoring tendon function and strength through manual therapy and eccentric exercise. Drugs will not help! Treatment should also include load management when deemed necessary.

With all this said, while we cannot assume a diagnosis was incorrect, lingering, worsening, or reoccurrence of pain would suggest that it may in fact be tendinosis. It is recommended that treatment plans geared toward tendinitis, in these cases, be reevaluated.

Tendinitis is one of the most commonly diagnosed injuries and all too many struggle to find relief. With the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, it doesn’t have to be that way!

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, including tendinitis and tendinosis.  Most patients have seen many different providers before finding relief in our office.  Fill out the appointment request on this page or call our office at 319-423-0925 to set up an appointment today!

Thanks for reading!