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Chronic Tendinitis - Symptoms and Treatments

By Edited Dec 3, 2015 0 0

You might be going about your daily tasks and suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your wrist.  You ignore it at first and continue on with your task.You don’t think much of it at first, but as your daily life goes on it creeps back into your mind.These daily interruptions from your wrist start to bother you so often that you start getting a little concerned.That is when you decide that you must find out exactly what is going on.  Perhaps the answer lies in chronic tendinitis.


Tendonitis is defined as the inflammation of the tendons.There are two types of tendinitis, the first is large scale or acute injuries to the tendon that are short term.The other,chronic tendinitis, is actually termed tendinosis in the medical world.Chronic tendinitis is characterized by prolonged inflammation of the tendons which is characterized by tiny micro-tears of the tendons at the cellular level.  

Symptoms of chronic tendonitis include aches and stiffness in the localized area around the tendon, or a burning surrounding the entire joint around the tendon.The pain associated with chronic tendonitis usually increases during activity and after activity. There might be increased swelling and stiffness the following day after the activity as well.  This inflammation and stiffness also impairs the movement of the joint.  Some patience claim that increased stress also adds to the onset of symptoms.  Chronic tendonitis is often caused by over use or the general aging process.


Chronic tendonitis is often misdiagnosed as simple tendonitis.The symptoms are very similar, but the treatments are quite different.Chronic tendonitis can be diagnosed visually and by touch.  Chronic tendinitis causes disorganization in the collagen matrix of the tendon.This disorganization can be seen by ultrasonography and an MRI.


Once a diagnosis has been made treatments can begin.There are a lot of treatments that can be used.  The standard treatment that is used is physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, and rest.  This treatment is usually followed by a gradual increase in exercise. Full recovery usually takes between 3 and 6 months.Only 80% of patients fully recover.


Other treatments used are experimental and part of ongoing research.One of these treatments includes shockwave therapy.This shockwave therapy creates new blood flow to the infected area promoting quicker healing.Another treatment is soft tissue mobilization.During soft tissue mobilization promotes healing by increasing fibroblast activity.Fibroblasts are the cells that create tendons and other connective tissues. 


Another promising treatment is called eccentric loading. Eccentric loading uses eccentric muscle contractions to help speed the healing of tendons.Eccentric contractions are used when muscles are moving limbs and the movement of the muscle must be slowed down.  For example, when you extend your arm and straighten your elbow, a muscle must slow down the movement  so you do not overextend your elbow too quickly.These contractions can be harnessed and put to good use in healing tendons.Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E have also proven to promote healing.  The use of inflatable braces has also been effective.

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