Have you recently injured yourself and wondered if it could be an issue with your tendon, muscle, or ligament? First off, it’s important to know that all the above are soft tissues in your body. They cover your bones and tend to be more fragile than the bone itself. When you experience a sports related injury it could be as simple as a sprain or more serious resulting in a tear.
For the purpose of this blog post, we’re going to focus on what happens when muscle tendons are irritated due to repetitive stress resulting in a strain, also known as tendinopathy.
What is Tendinopathy?
Your tendons are strong, rope-like tissues that connect the muscle to the bone. Any overuse of the muscle can cause burning pain that reduces range of motion. You may also experience stiffness, swelling, difficulty moving your joint and feeling of a grating sensation when moving the joint.
Tendon related injuries are 50 percent more likely to happen when playing sports but can affect people of all ages in any activity. Those most at risk are athletes, women, people over 40 years old, those who partake in repetitive tasks, consume particular medications, and have poor muscle strength.
Common Tendinopathy Injuries
While tendinopathy can affect any tendon, it’s more common in the Achilles tendon, rotator cuff tendons, elbow tendons, patellar tendon, and hamstring tendons resulting in the common injuries below.
Golfer’s And Tennis Elbow
Both golfers and tennis elbows are a result of the repetitive motion of swinging. Tennis Elbow is on the outside of the elbow, and Golfer’s Elbow is on the inside part of the elbow. Although the injury is focused on the elbow, pain can actually be aggravated by any motion of your hand that radiates up into the middle part of your arm.
The Achilles tendon is the tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone. Achilles tendinitis is the overuse of this tendon and is common with runners who have suddenly increased either the intensity or duration of their run.
Wrist Pain / De Quervain Tenosynovitis
If you feel pain in your wrist or when you grasp things in your hand, you may have de Quervain tenosynovitis, the condition that affects tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. Another condition that can cause pain in the hand and wrist is “tendinitis of the wrist.” These tendons connect the muscle to the carpals in the wrist and cause pain when swollen.
Jumper’s Knee, also known as patellar tendonitis, is when inflammation has occurred at the patellar tendon, the tendon that connects the knee to your shin. This injury occurs when the knee joint is overused – typically from jumping onto hard surfaces.
Just as it sounds, swimmer’s shoulder is caused by overuse of the tendons in the shoulders. Those who swim often can aggravate their shoulders due to the constant joint rotation. Thus, causing shoulder pain caused by the tendon rubbing onto the shoulder blade.
How To Treat Tendinopathy?
Most of the above conditions and injuries can be treated with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate), physical therapy, and in more severe cases, surgery.
If you’re looking for a more natural approach to relieve the pain, try our Muscle Pain Relief. This easy to apply roll-on muscle relief, treats both localized and systemic muscle pain, soothing and healing muscles at the source.
By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.