One of the most common injuries affecting people today is tendonitis.
Many jobs these days involve performing repetitive tasks that, over time, wear out the tendons. Eventually, this results in inflammation and irritation causing pain and discomfort. Athletes and sports enthusiasts are most at risk of developing tendonitis.
Tendonitis causes a dull achy pain that’s localized to the affected area. Tenderness and swelling can also occur. If not treated early, tendinitis can result in a chronic disorder that requires invasive treatment such as surgery.
Shockwave therapy is an effective and straightforward treatment for tendonitis. It involves the pulsation of shockwaves into the affected area to promote healing and pain reduction.
One of the many benefits of shockwave therapy is that it’s non-invasive. Keep reading to find out how shockwave therapy can help heal tendonitis.
What Is Tendonitis?
The suffix ‘itis’ comes from Latin and means disease or inflammation. Tendonitis refers to the irritation or inflammation of the tendons.
Tendons are thick cords comprised of fibrous connective tissue that join muscles to bones. They allow us to engage in physical movement by aiding in muscle contraction and exertion.
Tendinitis is a painful condition that makes it difficult to move the affected joint. Any tendon can become inflamed and therefore tendonitis can occur in a variety of areas in the body.
Most commonly people develop tendonitis in their shoulder, knee, wrist, or elbow. Tendonitis is often referred to as ‘tennis elbow or ‘swimmer’s shoulder’.
Causes of Tendonitis
The primary cause of tendonitis is over-repetition of certain movements. Repetitive movements put stress on the tendon which leads to inflammation.
Many athletes repeat the same movements during training. This includes swinging a tennis racket or golf club and pitching a baseball. That’s why they are more likely to develop tendonitis.
Other factors that may contribute to the development of tendonitis include:
- Physical injury
- Certain antibiotics
- Certain disorders such as Arthritis
Athletes and those who engage in a high level of physical exertion are most at risk of developing tendonitis.
Symptoms of Tendonitis
It is important to take note of your physical symptoms to help health professionals confirm a diagnosis. Tendonitis is characterized by specific pains, swelling, and inflammation.
With tendonitis, the affected area becomes tender and swollen. The pain associated with it is a dull ache that’s concentrated around the affected area.
The pain tends to increase in severity when you move the area or someone touches it. Some people may experience tightness in the area that makes movement difficult.
If you experience these symptoms, rest for a few days. If the pain persists, make an appointment to see a healthcare professional. If you ignore the symptoms of tendonitis, it can result in long-term injury.
Types of Tendonitis
There are different forms of tendonitis depending on where it occurs in the body. Each of these types of tendonitis can lead to a range of painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
The different types of tendonitis include:
- Achilles tendonitis (affects the Achilles heel)
- Biceps tendonitis (where the bicep muscle connects to the shoulder)
- Golfer’s elbow (inside of the elbow joint)
- Rotator cuff tendonitis (affects the shoulder blade)
- Wrist tendonitis (affects the thumb side of the wrist)
There are many tendons in the body, so tendonitis can occur in a variety of places. Take note of where the pain occurs to help identify the affected tendon.
How Is Tendonitis Diagnosed?
Tendonitis can be diagnosed by a doctor, chiropractor, or other health professional. At your appointment, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and then perform a physical exam to check for signs of tendonitis.
You should make sure to tell your doctor/chiropractor about:
- Recent or past injuries that you’ve experienced
- Drugs/supplements you’re taking
- Other medical conditions
- Pain and changes to the affected area
You should also make a point to ask your doctor/chiropractor some basic questions, including:
- Will I require further tests?
- What’s the likely cause of my tendonitis?
- What is the most effective treatment for my condition?
- Can I still be active in my day-to-day life?
- Are there any home remedies I can try to speed up recovery?
Your doctor/chiropractor will take into account things like the tenderness of the affected area and range of motion. If a diagnosis cannot be made from a physical exam, your doctor may order an X-ray or ultrasound.
How to Treat Tendonitis?
When it comes to treating tendonitis, there are several simple remedies that may offer some relief. This includes the following:
- Getting lots of rest
- Keeping the area elevated
- Doing simple stretches to improve motility
- Dry needling to stimulate healing and blood flow
You can also use a compression bandage to wrap up the area until the tenderness and swelling reduce.
For more severe cases of tendonitis, you may require support such as a brace or a cane. Physical therapy can also help to strengthen the area and return normal function.
For severe cases of tendonitis that don’t respond to traditional treatment, your doctor may advise you to try surgery or experimental regenerative medicine procedures.
Shockwave therapy has also become a popular treatment for tendonitis. It’s non-invasive and inexpensive. If you find regular treatment ineffective, why not give it a go?
What Is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy, also known as ‘extracorporeal shock wave therapy’ (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment for soft tissue injuries. ESWT involves passing shockwaves through the skin to the injured part of the body.
The shock waves administered to the body are mechanical and not electric. They are low-energy soundwaves that travel to the affected area where they reduce pain and promote healing.
The first step in shockwave therapy involves locating the area in need of treatment. After that, a special gel is applied to the skin.
The role of the gel is to propagate the sound waves efficiently to the injured area. The applicator is then pressed against the skin and the apparatus is turned on.
Depending on the severity of your condition and the location of the affected area, different wave frequencies may be used.
Shockwave Therapy For Tendonitis
Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment for tendonitis, especially for those with chronic cases that are unresponsive to traditional treatment.
In fact, one study found that extracorporeal shockwave therapy reduced the need for pain medication in those suffering from tennis elbow. It also improved the functioning of the affected limb.
Another systemic review concluded that shockwave therapy may be effective for the treatment of lower limb conditions including tendinopathy.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that can be used together with more traditional approaches.
Shockwave therapy can be administered without the need for drugs or x-rays. The acoustic waves not only reduce inflammation but stimulate the body’s own innate healing ability.
For athletes whose injuries don’t respond to regular treatments like ice packs and bracing, shockwave therapy can be a godsend.
Many people with more severe tendonitis may feel hesitant about undergoing surgery. For these people, shockwave therapy may provide an effective, non-invasive alternative.
Furthermore, more invasive treatments for tendonitis such as regenerative medicine, needle tenotomy, and surgery are associated with higher costs and longer recovery times.
ESWT provides athletes with an alternative treatment that won’t put them out of action for weeks on end.
The best treatment for any condition is prevention. If you’re an athlete or engage in a lot of physical activity, follow the below guidelines to reduce your chance of developing tendonitis.
- Avoid exercises and movements that cause pain or excessive stress on your tendons
- Reduce repetitive movements by engaging in a variety of exercise types
- Correct errors in your technique which may put unnecessary strain on your tendons
- Make sure to stretch after exercise
- Strengthen your muscles so they can better withstand stress
Another simple thing you can do to reduce your chance of developing tendonitis is to adjust your workspace for maximum ergonomics. Invest in an ergonomic office chair to help alleviate stresses and protect your muscles and joints.
Shockwave Therapy Can Help Treat Tendonitis
Tendonitis refers to the inflammation of the tendons. It’s a painful condition that can occur in a variety of places in the body.
Athletes and those who engage in regular physical activity are most prone to tendonitis. Repetitive movements put stress on the tendons and lead to irritation and inflammation.
Shockwave therapy is an effective alternative treatment for tendonitis. Shockwave therapy involves the pulsation of acoustic waves through the skin into the affected area, promoting healing.
If you would like to learn more about shockwave therapy or purchase a machine for home or clinical use, contact us today.