Tips for Managing Tendon Injuries
Tendons, the soft connective tissues that join
muscles to bone are known for being notoriously difficult to treat once
injured. The reason for this is that often they are injured through stress or
overuse, and compared to muscles have relatively small blood flow, which is
essential for healing.
Tendons and muscles work together to move your
joints and are called a contractile unit. As muscles are exercised and gain
strength, the attaching tendons are also placed under tension and adapt to this
to become stronger. If the load placed on the tissues exceeds their capacity,
the tendon fibres can begin to break down and become stiff and painful.
Is my pain related to a tendon injury?
For an accurate diagnosis, you will need to be
assessed by a physiotherapist. However, some signs that your pain might be
coming from an in issue with your tendon are;
· The pain is quite specific and can be felt over
the tendon itself.
· The pain is worse when under stress and improves when
· The pain improves after exercise has started, but
it might be worse the day after.
· The area around the tendon may feel stiff after
periods of rest, particularly in the morning.
How are tendon injuries treated?
When it comes to recovery, tendons are often
treated differently to other injuries. While each tendon injury is unique and
will require assessment and intervention by a physiotherapist, there are a few
general approaches that usually help with all tendon injuries.
Reducing your activity to a comfortable level is
the first step to recovery. Complete rest can actually delay healing as the
tendon simply becomes weaker and less able to cope with subsequent loads. Your
physiotherapist can provide you with a targeted exercise program to aid your
recovery. Eccentric exercises, which are exercises that work alongside gravity,
have been shown to stimulate tendon healing and strength.
Stretching may aggravate your injury and should be
used with caution. Assessment of any biomechanical faults or stresses that are
placing undue load on the tendon is also a central component of treatment. Your
physiotherapist is able to guide you with your recovery and return to sport to
avoid aggravating any injury.
None of the information in this post is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your injury.
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