How to manage Tendonitis
In this article, we reach out to the Clinical Director and Physiotherapist of Physiologic Ryan Tan to talk about what Tendonitis is and how best to manage it.
Tendonitis, or Tendinopathy, refers to injuries specific to any of the Tendons in your body.
Tendon injuries are a difficult presentation for many Physiotherapists to treat due to their volatile nature, and lengthy recovery times.
It takes a combination of precise rehabilitation exercises, and the creation of an optimal healing environment to achieve the best results.
COMMON TENDINITIS INJURIES
Here are some of the most common sites where athletes experience Tendon pain.
- Patellar Tendon (Jumper's Knee)
- Achilles Tendon
- Rotator Cuff Tendon
- Elbow (Tennis/Golfers Elbow)
COMMON CAUSES OF TENDINITIS
The NUMBER 1 cause of Tendinitis is a sudden increase in load, in a short period of time.
‘Doing too much too soon’.
For the combat athlete, this might look like radically switching from Steady State Conditioning work to Maximal Effort Sprints, or even something as simple as doubling the volume of skipping work you’re doing.
Crossfit athletes are particularly susceptible, as longer WODs, especially HERO WODs like Murph, demand an exceptionally high number of repetitions (100/200/300), and are only programmed occasionally.
Throwing a novice who is unaccustomed to high volume work into a long workout is a high risk situation.
Other causes of tendonitis include movement dysfunction and mobility issues. Both of these will cause an overcompensation of load at another joint, usually the Knee (Patella) or Achilles Tendon.
REHABILITATING TENDINITIS INJURIES
As mentioned earlier, it takes a combination of 2 things to achieve the best results,
1: Precise rehabilitation exercises
2: Creation of an optimal healing environment
PRECISE REHABILITATION EXERCISES
Telling you the exact exercises to do for each specific tendinitis injury is out of the scope of this blog, but here are some general principles you can apply to help rehabilitate your tendon injury.
Isometrics describe exercises like a Spanish squat or a Wall sit, where your muscles are working to keep your body position static.
When isometrics are held for at least 30 seconds, it’s been scientifically proven to
1: Reduce Tendon Pain
2: Encourage better Tendon regeneration
VR’s Strength Bands make an excellent way to gradually overload your isometric exercises to accelerate your recovery.
Try having a VR Glute Band around your knees while you’re doing a Wall Sit for your Jumper's Knee, or using the VR Strength Band to add resistance to an isometric heel raise for Achilles Tendon Pain.
START WITH SLOW AND CONTROLLED EXERCISES
Replacing speed work with slow and controlled strength exercises are an excellent way to strengthen your muscles and to gently introduce therapeutic load to your injured tendon.
Acute, painful tendons don’t like fast elastic movements, so try to replace them with slower and more controlled movements!
Instead of skipping, try slow and controlled heel raises for your Achilles Tendon Pain.
Replace Box Jumps with Box Squats, or Wall Balls with Incline Dumbell Presses.
CREATING AN OPTIMAL HEALING ENVIRONMENT
Using quality recovery tools are essential to give you the upper hand in your tendinitis recovery plan.
VR’s Recovery Packs contain all the essentials you need to create an optimal healing environment for your Tendon.
Use a foam roller on the MUSCLE BELLY that connects into your affected tendon.
For example, if it’s a Jumper's knee, focus on foam rolling your Quadriceps and Glutes.
For Achilles Tendon injuries, foam roll your calves.
It’s important NOT to foam roll your actual tendon, as it will not respond well to direct compressive force.
When applied correctly, VR’s Kinesiology tape can be extremely helpful for tendons, especially the Achilles and Patellar Tendon.
The tape will help to deload the affected tendon, and it may allow you to continue with your training. Speak with your Physiotherapists to find out if it is suitable for you, and how best to apply VR’s Kinesiology Tape.
SELF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE WITH VR Tech Quiet Massage Gun
As with the foam rolling, using the VR Massage Gun on the muscles connecting into your tendon can be extremely helpful for pain reduction.
Just be sure not to use the massage gun directly on the tendon, no matter how tempting it may be!
Tendon injuries can be difficult to manage, but with proper guidelines on load management from your physiotherapist and the help of VR’s Recovery tools, you’ll be well on your way to returning back to your competitive best!
To get your hands on our products, head over to the products page at Victory Recovery Systems
If you liked this article and want to see more epic content from Ryan, follow him on Instagram @physio.culture or head to Physiologic (www.physiologichk.com)