Thursday, June 14, 2012

Troubling Tendonitis

What is tendonitis?
Tendonitis is a word that is mentioned a lot in the sport industry, but few people really grasp what it is.  The word tendonitis means "inflamed tendon."  A tendon is a tough band of connective tissue, attached at one end to a muscle and on the other to a bone.  It is a common condition in athletes that can cause significant amounts of inflammation, swelling and pain.

Why does it happen?
Forgetting to warm up, overusing a joint and over-training while exercising or participating in sports can cause tendonitis.  For example, if you have not worked out for a while and then push yourself too hard, the result could be tendonitis.  
How long does it take to heal?
Tendonitis can take a long time to heal because of the limited blood flow to the tendons, but it mainly depends on the extent of the injury and the age of the person.

What can I do to treat it?
When you start to feel pain it's a good idea to apply ice to the affected area for at least 15 minutes.  It's also a good practice to limit the training intensity of your current workout, while you are still sore.

Is there anything I can do to prevent it?
Strong muscles help prevent tendonitis.  If you've been diagnosed with tendonitis or have had it in the past, you will want to put some extra effort into building up your strength, especially around the damaged area.

Where do I go from here?
If you're in pain and are afraid that going to the doctor will put you in an operating room, don't worry, tendonitis rarely needs surgery and if left untreated, it will worsen and become chronic.  Getting the help you need will get you back to training that much faster!

 References from the SIRC Collection

1. Brauer S. Achilles tendonitis. Journal Of Physiotherapy. March 2011;57(1):62.
2. Mayrhofer D. SALVATION FOR THE ACHING SOLE. Australian Cyclist. January 2012;37(1):20-22.
3. Metzl J. Troubleshooting Tendonitis. Triathlete. June 2012;(339):24.
4. Nessel E. Athletes Needing to Treat Sore Muscles and Tendons. ASCA Newsletter. April 2010;2010(4):24-27.
5. Reed A. Taming the Achilles Heel. Skitrax. December 15, 2011;22(2):74.
6. Romanelli D, Almekinders L, Mandelbaum B. Achilles rupture in the athlete: current science and treatment. Sports Medicine & Arthroscopy Review. October 2000;8(4):377-386.

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