Tendinitis

Home/Posts/Tendinitis
23 03, 2012

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are injuries that occur in athletic activities. Some sports injuries result from accidents; others are due to poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warm up and stretching. Many sports injuries can be due to overuse of a part of the body when participating in an activity. Other types of injuries can be caused by hard contact with something. Sports injuries typically involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage.

Common sports injuries include:

  • Sprains are a stretch or tear of a ligament, causing tenderness, pain, bruising, swelling and inflammation.
  • Strains are a twist, pull, or tear of a muscle or tendon, causing pain, muscle spasms, and weakness. 
  • Knee injuries are very common and can range from mild to severe, from pain or tenderness at the front or side of the knee close to the knee cap, tendinitis, and pain in the iliotibial band (the outer side of the knee), to bone bruises or damage to the knee cartilage or ligaments. 
  • Shin splints are another common sports injury involving pain along the tibia or shin bone, typically seen in runners. 
  • Achilles tendon injuries can occur when there is tendinitis already present in the tendon or when a stretch, tear or irritation happens to the tendon. 
  • More severe can be stress fractures, which occur from repeated stress to a bone over time, most often occurring in the legs or feet, and acute fractures, that can occur from a quick, one-time injury to the bone. 
  • Dislocations occur when the two bones that come together to form a joint become separated. Dislocations a usually caused by contact sports or high-impact sports.

The great news is that acupuncture can be of benefit to all types of sports injuries. It is of course always best to treat an injury in the acute stage or as soon after an injury occurs as possible, in order to assist the body in healing quickly and fully. Early treatment also helps to prevent the possibility of long-term or chronic problems with the injury down the road due to improper healing. However, acupuncture is also very beneficial in any stage of healing and can also be of great help to old, lingering injuries or injuries that did not properly heal. Acupuncture taps into the body’s own resources to encourage the healing process and the body’s optimal functioning. With sports injuries this can mean reduced inflammation, increased circulation, reduced muscle tension, and of course, pain relief. Treating sports injuries, whether old or new, can help the body to regain former functioning and health levels and prevent more long-term consequences such as reduced mobility, stiffness, weakness, or arthritis.

Our bodies have amazing abilities to self-regulate and repair themselves. In any injury the body attempts to minimize, repair and overcome the damage to its normal functions and in many cases, given adequate rest and support, our bodies are able to recover successfully. However, in cases where the body isn’t able to correct a problem on its own, or in cases where long-term damage can occur if left untreated, acupuncture is a promising treatment that helps bolster the body’s healing abilities so that we can return to our normal, healthy selves.

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, downtown Kelowna. He can be reached at www.okanaganacupuncture.com. 

 

3 03, 2012

Soleus and Achilles Tendon

I would like to thank you for the relief you have given me. I suffered a calf, Soleus and Achilles tendon injury as a result of my training for the Half Iron. One of my training partners said that he had experienced the same injury and it took him a year to recover.

When I came to see you I expected that I would have a long and arduous road back to training. Truthfully, I thought that I could scrap my aspirations of a June Half Iron.

Well, with two treatments and a few for good measure I can tell you I am back in the race and feeling confident that I will compete (might be participate). It is a tremendous relief from a pain and emotional point of view.

I can’t thank you enough for your support.

-Desmond Regier

Trade Exchange Canada

Kelowna, BC

www.tectrade.ca

3 01, 2011

Tendinitis

Tendinitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon- the thick, fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones. Tendinitis causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint. While tendinitis can occur in any of the body's tendons, it's most common in the shoulders, elbows, wrists and heels.  Tendinitis symptoms typically include pain (usually a dull ache), tenderness, and mild swelling at the point where the tendon attaches to the bone.

Common names for tendinitis are tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, pitcher's shoulder, swimmer's shoulder, and jumper's knee. From this list it’s easy to see that tendinitis typically develops from the stress of a repetitive movement over time. Most people develop tendinitis because of jobs, sports or hobbies that involve repetitive motions, which aggravate the tendons needed to perform the tasks, although tendinitis can also be caused by a sudden injury. Age can also play a factor in tendinitis because as we get older, our tendons become less flexible, making them more prone to injury.

Most cases of tendinitis can be successfully treated with rest and self-care. If symptoms persist for more than a few days and interfere with day-to-day activities, your doctor may recommend medications to reduce the pain and inflammation. Injections of cortisone medication around a tendon may also be recommended to reduce inflammation and help ease pain but repeated injections may weaken a tendon, increasing the risk of tendon rupture. Tendon rupture is a much more serious problem that may require surgical repair. Without proper treatment, tendinitis can develop into a chronic problem and increase the risk of developing into tendon rupture.

Acupuncture can be a great option for resolving tendinitis problems and promoting proper healing. In Chinese medicine, most musculo-skeletal disorders have some relevant underlying imbalance or contributing lifestyle factor. Understanding a person’s general health gives an acupuncturist insight into the internal imbalances that can contribute to injury. Lifestyle can play a role, whether it be our occupation, the exercise or sports we choose, or our nutrition and diet. Chinese medicine also considers the role of emotion and thought in health, as they can be either the cause or the symptom of an internal balance.

With tendinitis, and all types of musculo-skeletal injuries, pain is caused by stagnation of qi-energy and blood. Acupuncture treatment focuses on removing the blockage and helping the energy and blood to flow again in order to remove pain and resolve the symptoms of the injury. This also helps to promote proper and complete healing.

In addition, we look at what underlying factors have influenced health and weakened the joint or made it vulnerable to injury. These causes can be external (such as exposure to the elements or an external trauma or blow to the area) or internal (caused by an imbalance in the body’s normal functioning due to our genetics or our lifestyle). By also treating these underlying factors, we are can strengthen the injured area and improve health, with the goal of preventing future reoccurrence.

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC.

3 01, 2011

Elbow Pain

The elbow is a complex joint formed by three long bones. Four sets of muscles help move the joint and are attached to the bones by thick tendons. Damage to any of these structures or to the joint's network of nerves, blood vessels and ligaments can lead to elbow pain.

Often elbow pain isn't serious, but because we use our elbows in so many ways, elbow pain can affect our daily lives and can lead to chronic or lingering problems. Most elbow pain results from overuse injuries, often sports-related but also as a result of activities or work that require repetitive arm, wrist, or hand movements. Elbow pain may also be due to arthritis, but the elbow joint is much less prone to wear-and-tear damage than other joints are. Common causes of elbow pain include ligament sprain and tears, golfer’s elbow, dislocation, elbow fracture, tendinitis, tennis elbow, osteoarthritis, or irritation or damage to one of the nerves in the elbow.

Acupuncture can offer positive results for the various disorders of the elbow. One of the first steps of diagnosis is to determine which meridians have been most affected, depending on where the pain is located. This helps an acupuncturist to determine the focus of treatment, and the points to use.

Although muskulo-skeletal problems like elbow disorders are typically due to external causes such as a blow to the joint or an overuse injury, internal weaknesses of the body can complicate or aggravate a problem once it is there. So we also look at the overall health of the internal functions to find any areas of imbalance, particularly those that affect the meridians of the elbow. Imbalances will contribute to weakness in the elbow and make it more prone to injury, as well as more slow to heal.

Acupuncture can be very effective for the many possible problems of the elbow, both acute and chronic. These can be problems of the muscles, such as spasms, cramps, muscle strains, or overuse injuries; problems of the ligaments and other soft tissue, such as ligament strains, bursitis, adhesions and scar tissue; and problems of the joint, such as with gout and the various types of arthritis. Acupuncture treatment can relieve pain, aid healing and help prevent future problems with elbow disorders.

Our bodies are amazing organisms that have the ability to self-regulate and repair themselves. In any disorder the body attempts to minimize, repair and overcome the damage to its normal functions and in many cases, given adequate rest and support, our bodies are able to recover successfully. However, in cases where the body isn’t able to correct a problem on its own, acupuncture is a promising treatment that helps bolster the body’s healing abilities so that we can return to our normal, healthy selves.

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, downtown Kelowna, BC.

16 12, 2010

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is an overuse injury that affects the area where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony part of the outside elbow. This causes pain in the outside of the elbow, which can also radiate from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist. There can be pain when you extend your wrist and pain during certain activities such as shaking hands, turning a doorknob, or holding certain objects, such as a coffee cup. The condition can also cause forearm weakness. The pain of tennis elbow is similar to golfer's elbow, but golfer's elbow occurs on the inside, rather than on the outside, of the elbow.

Tennis elbow is caused by repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that are used to straighten and raise the hand and wrist- such as with the backhand stroke when playing tennis. However, there are many other common causes of tennis elbow, including using plumbing tools, playing other racket sports, painting, raking and weaving. The repeated motions and stress to the tissue may result in inflammation or a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bone at the outside of the elbow.

Generally, rest is the best medicine for tennis elbow. But tennis elbow that has not been allowed to heal properly can lead to chronic pain. Using your arm too strenuously before it has properly healed can cause further damage or prevent proper healing. Analyzing what motions are causing the problem can help you to change your habits to reduce stress on the elbow. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the forearm can also help recovery and prevent re-injury.

Acupuncture can be a great option for dealing with tennis elbow and promoting proper healing. In Chinese medicine, almost every musculo-skeletal disorder has some relevant underlying imbalance or contributing lifestyle factor. Understanding a person’s general health gives an acupuncturist insight into the internal imbalances that can contribute to injury. Lifestyle can play a role, whether it be our occupation, the exercise or sports we choose, or our nutrition and diet. Chinese medicine also considers the role of emotion and thought in health, as they can be either the cause or the symptom of an internal balance.

With tennis elbow, and all types of musculo-skeletal injuries, pain occurs when there is stagnation of qi-energy and blood. Acupuncture treatment focuses on removing the blockage and helping the energy and blood to flow again in order to remove pain and resolve the symptoms of an injury such as tennis elbow.

In addition, we look at what underlying factors have influenced health and weakened the elbow or made it vulnerable to injury. These causes can be external (such as exposure to the elements or an external trauma or blow to the area) or internal (caused by an imbalance in the body’s normal functioning due to our genetics or our lifestyle). By also treating these underlying factors, we are actually strengthening the injured area and improving health, with the goal of preventing future reoccurrence.

In this way, acupuncture not only relieves symptoms, but goes further to address the heart of the problem, unlike other treatments such as medications, which serve only to relieve symptoms. Acupuncture shows us that the pain of tennis elbow doesn't have to keep you from enjoying your favorite activities.

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, downtown Kelowna, BC.

14 10, 2010

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway bound by bones and ligaments located on the inside of your wrist. It protects the main nerve to your hand and the tendons that bend your fingers. When there is pressure placed on the nerve, it produces numbness, tingling, pain and over time, loss of strength in the hand, a condition that is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Pressure on the nerve can stem from anything that reduces the space for it in the carpal tunnel, such as overusing the hand in work, sports and daily activities particularly through repetitive motions, injury to the area, or other health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, certain hormonal disorders, or fluid retention during pregnancy. In many cases, carpal tunnel symptoms may actually be caused by a nerve compression in the neck rather than by a narrowing of the carpal tunnel. Bad posture, for example, can cause compression of the nerves that run down the arm and eventually pass through the carpal tunnel.

In Western medicine, carpal tunnel syndrome is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to reduce swelling, with physiotherapy to stretch the ligaments and maintain mobility and muscle strength, with massage for relaxation and – as a last resort – with surgery, to cut the ligament in order to create more space for the confined structures in the carpal tunnel.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are many different reasons why a person develops symptoms like those of CTS. There are two organs that are commonly involved in many bone and muscle/sinew problems, the kidney and liver. The kidneys are said to produce marrow and control the strength of the bones. Therefore if the kidneys are strong and healthy, the bones will be also, whereas if the kidneys are weak the bones may also be weak and/or brittle. The liver controls the state of the sinews (muscle and tendons), so if the liver is strong and functioning properly, the sinews will be properly lubricated and nourished to have the capacity to contract and relax in a healthy manner.

When a problem arises in a joint, whether due to injury or overuse, the body is normally able to recover and heal the tissues. However, with injuries, what can commonly happen at the initial stage is that the qi-energy and blood get stuck and no longer circulate through the joint properly, causing pain. If the quality of blood is generally poor, which is common in a liver yin deficiency, the injured site will of course take longer to heal or even fail to heal completely, because the blood doesn’t provide the proper nourishment to heal the weakened area. When injury occurs in the case of overuse of a joint, the kidneys and liver are also involved, because the joint may sustain damage if it isn’t receiving a sufficient quality of nourishment and moistening of qi-energy and blood. 

With acupuncture we can reinforce the energy of kidneys and liver in order to strengthen the bones, muscles and tendons to allow them to heal properly and prevent future injury. We can also encourage circulation of the stuck energy and blood in order to break up the blockages in the injured area and promote healing. Acupuncture provides relief from pain and inflammation, but also encourages healing to the area and a healthier state of functioning, so that the carpal tunnel area is more able to withstand injury and sustain health during frequent use.

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC.

14 10, 2010

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is similar to tennis elbow except that it occurs on the inside, rather than the outside, of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow involves pain and inflammation on the inner side of the elbow, where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. Symptoms include pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow (which may spread into the forearm and wrist), stiffness in the elbow, weakness in the hands and wrists, and numbness or tingling in one or more fingers (usually the ring and little fingers). The pain may get worse when swinging a club or racket, squeezing or pitching a ball, shaking hands, turning a doorknob, flexing the wrist towards the forearm, or picking something up with the palm facing down.

Golfer's elbow is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. The damage is typically caused by excess or repetitive stress, particularly forceful wrist and finger motions, but it can also be caused by a sudden force or blow to the elbow or wrist. Golfer's elbow is not limited to golfers- many activities can lead to golfer’s elbow including racket sports, throwing sports, weight training, and any activity that uses repetitive wrist, hand or arm movement such as typing, painting, or hammering.

Rest is the best medicine for golfer’s elbow. But golfer’s elbow that has not been allowed to heal properly or using the arm too strenuously before it has properly healed can lead to chronic elbow pain, a limited range or motion, or a lasting, fixed bend in the elbow. Analyzing what motions are causing the problem can help you to change your habits to reduce stress on the elbow. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the forearm can also help recovery and prevent re-injury.

Acupuncture can be a great option for dealing with golfer’s elbow and promoting proper healing. With golfer’s elbow, and all types of musculo-skeletal injuries, pain is caused by stagnation of qi-energy and blood. Acupuncture treatment focuses on removing the blockage and helping the energy and blood to flow again in order to remove pain and resolve the symptoms of an injury such as golfer’s elbow.

In addition, we look at what underlying factors have influenced the body’s health and weakened the elbow or made it vulnerable to injury. In Chinese medicine (TCM), almost every musculo-skeletal disorder also has some relevant underlying imbalance or contributing lifestyle factor, whether it be our occupation, the exercise or sports we choose, our nutrition and diet, or our genes. Understanding a person’s general health gives an acupuncturist insight into the internal imbalances that can further contribute to an injury. By also treating these underlying factors, we are actually strengthening the injured area and improving health, with the goal of preventing future reoccurrence.

In this way, acupuncture not only relieves symptoms of golfer’s elbow, but goes further to address the heart of the problem and promote proper healing, unlike other treatments which may serve only to relieve symptoms. Indeed, acupuncture can help you get back on the course and into the swing of things.

James Kaufman is a Registered Acupuncturist at Okanagan Acupuncture Centre, 1625 Ellis St, downtown Kelowna, BC.