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Tendinopathy Treatment in Westminster Denver Colorado

Overview

       Tendinopathy is the broad term for any tendon condition that causes pain and swelling.

       Your tendons are rope-like tissues in your body that attach muscle to bone.

       When your muscles tighten and relax, your tendons and bones move.

       One example of a tendon is your Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf muscle to your heel bone and causes ankle movement. If you have pain and/or swelling in that area, you might have Achilles tendinopathy.

       The pain from tendinopathy can interfere with your daily life. For example, it can keep you from playing sports and from doing housework. So, if you have pain or swelling, make sure to contact your healthcare provider for help.

Tendinopathy includes both tendinitis (tendonitis) and tendinosis.

Tendinitis

       Tendinitis means inflammation of your tendon. It’s a painful injury that can either be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). You may develop tendinitis after a sudden injury from lifting a heavy weight or from repetitive activities that cause micro-tears in your tendon over time.

Tendinosis

       Tendinosis is the breakdown (degeneration) of the collagen fibers in your tendon. It happens slowly and is often the result of tendon overuse.

What are the different tendon conditions?

Tendinopathies are tendon conditions that cause pain and swelling. Some of the most common tendinopathies that healthcare providers see include:

      Achilles tendinitis. Your Achilles is the strongest, largest tendon in your body.

      Patellar tendinitis. Your kneecap tendon (patellar tendon) connects the bottom of your kneecap (a bone) to the top of your shinbone (tibia). The patellar tendon is actually a ligament — it connects bone to bone instead of muscle to bone.

      Rotator cuff tendinitis. Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that keep your shoulder joint stable.

Other tendinopathies include:

      De Quervain’s tendinosis (tenosynovitis), which affects your wrist and thumb.

      Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis).

      Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).

Who is at risk for tendinopathy?

Tendinopathy affects people of all ages, but some people are more likely than others to develop tendinopathy. Higher risk groups include:

      Athletes.

      People over 40 years old.

      People who do repetitive tasks.

      People who take certain medications.

      People with particular medical conditions.

      People with poor muscle strength.

      Women.

Just having increased risk doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get tendinitis or tendinosis. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re concerned.

How common is tendinopathy?

In the general population, tendinopathy affects about 2% to 5% of people. It’s more common in athletes, though. For example, multiple studies have shown that each year around 10% of runners develop Achilles tendinopathy. Furthermore, roughly 50% of all sports injuries are tendon injuries.

What are the symptoms of tendinopathy?

You may have tendinopathy if you’re experiencing pain or tenderness with some or all of the following symptoms:

      Burning.

      Difficulty moving your joint.

      Feeling a crackling or grating sensation when you move your joint.

      Muscle weakness and loss of strength.

      Red, warm skin in the painful area. Please also note that red, warm skin sometimes indicates an infection. If you see this, please contact your healthcare provider.

      Stiffness.

      Swelling.

It might be helpful for you to make a list of your symptoms and keep a journal to track them. Your healthcare provider will want to know how long you’ve had the symptoms and their severity so they can make an accurate diagnosis.

What causes tendinopathy?

The exact cause of tendinopathy isn’t always clear. It’s often related to multiple factors. In addition to being in a higher risk group, other risk factors include:

      High-intensity training.

      Muscle imbalances.

      Incorrect training equipment or poor training surfaces.

      Lack of flexibility.

      Lack of strength.

      Too much weight on your tendon (from lifting something).

Tendon problems aren’t limited to athletes. As many as 30% of people with Achilles tendon injuries lead a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle. Experts theorize that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to poor blood circulation in the tendon. When someone has poor blood circulation and suddenly increases their activity, that can cause hypoxia (not enough oxygen in their tissues), impaired nutrition and weakened energy metabolism (metabolism is the process of changing food into energy). Those issues might contribute to events that lead to tendon degeneration.

Tendinopathy can turn chronic if minor injuries occur regularly and don’t heal completely. Repeated activities may cause collagen fibers to break down over time, leading to tendinosis.

Examples of repetitive tasks that can cause tendinosis include:

      Gardening.

      Lifting.

      Landscaping.

      Painting.

      Scrubbing.

      Shoveling.

      Sports.

      Typing.

      Woodworking.

Some medical conditions put you at a higher risk for tendinopathy, including:

      Dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia is when your total cholesterol or triglycerides or both are too high.

      Gout.

      Obesity.

      Rheumatoid arthritis.

      Type 2 diabetes.

Medications that increase your risk of tendinopathy include:

      Fluoroquinolones (a class of antibiotics).

      Glucocorticoids (medicines that fight inflammation). Glucocorticoids are a type of medicine, as well as a hormone in your body. If you have too much of the hormone, that can cause insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and Type 2 diabetes. All three metabolic states put you at a higher risk for tendinopathy.

Common sports associated with tendinopathy include:

      Baseball.

      Basketball.

      Golf.

      Skiing.

      Soccer.

      Swimming.

      Tennis.

How is tendinopathy diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider should go through two steps when you see them about your symptoms: they’ll discuss your history and perform a physical examination.When you talk about your history, your healthcare provider should address:

      The location of your pain.

      The severity of your pain. They’ll ask you to rate your pain on a scale.

      The type of pain (burning, dull, sharp).

      How long you’ve had the symptoms.

During the physical exam, your healthcare provider might:

      Look for redness.

      Look for swelling.

      Test your range of motion (how far you can stretch or move part of your body).

      Touch certain areas to see if you feel tenderness.

Your healthcare provider might diagnose you with tendinopathy based on reported symptoms and the physical exam or, if they need more information, they might order an imaging test such as:

      Ultrasound. An ultrasound reveals changes in your tendon such as thickness, length, stiffness, disorganized and misaligned tendon fibers and tears.

      MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows the general health or injuries in your tendon.

How is tendinopathy treated?

The treatment for your tendinopathy depends on the type you have. The treatments for tendinosis aren’t the same as the treatments for tendinitis. Treatment also depends on which tendon is bothering you. The common treatments for tendinosis include:

      Rest. If you do repetitive tasks at work, try taking a short break every 15 minutes. And try resting for five minutes every 30 minutes.

      Ice. Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 20 minutes every two hours. Don’t put the ice directly on your skin.

      Eccentric strengthening. Eccentric strengthening involves tightening your muscle while you hold something heavy. For example, when you stretch out a muscle like your bicep (a large muscle in your upper arm) while holding a dumbbell (weight) in your hand. Such movement helps with tendon strength and helps stimulate the production of collagen. Experts recommend that people with tendinosis practice eccentric strengthening every day. Talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist to find out exactly what you should do.

      Stretching. Stretching can help your tendinopathy in several ways. It keeps you flexible, increases circulation (helps you heal) and reduces tendon tension (tightness).

      Massage. Deep-friction massage applied to your tendon can generate new collagen fibers, reduce your pain and increase your strength.

      Hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is when your body overheats. It’s also a type of treatment for tendinopathy. A heating system increases your temperature to increase blood flow. Blood flow can stimulate healing for your tendinopathy.

      Supplements. Vitamin C, manganese, zinc, vitamin B6 and vitamin E are all connected to tendon health. Talk with your healthcare provider about dosages so you don’t take too much. You should always check with your healthcare provider before using any supplements.

Researchers tried other treatments, including low-level laser therapy, iontophoresis, phonophoresis and therapeutic ultrasound. Unfortunately, researchers found very little proof that these treatments help with tendinosis.

Our expert providers are experienced and skilled at treating tendinopathy and are your source for expert treatment of tendinopathy in Westminster and Denver Colorado. Not only are we the premier treatment for spine injuries and chiropractic in Westminster and Denver Colorado, but we also specialize in many other advanced treatment techniques such as shockwave, cold laser, graston technique, KT Taping, activator, instrument aided spinal alignments, drop table, toggle, in house rehab services, and on site digital xrays. We are your Premier destination for tendinopathy treatment in Westminster Colorado and Denver Colorado Chiropractor.