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Tendinitis and Chiropractic

What is tendinitis?

Tendinitis (also called tendinosis or tendinopathy) is the inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are the connective tissue that attaches our muscles to our bones. They help our joints to move freely. Tendons become inflamed when they can’t handle the stress that is being placed on them. This can be caused by many factors such as:

  • A sudden increase in activity that places a load on the tendons (e.g. running or jumping)
  • Compression on the tendon (e.g. from a fall or from poorly fitted shoes)
  • Poor biomechanics in the affected joint
  • Injury
  • Systemic factors such as high cholesterol or smoking.

Types and traditional treatment

Inflammation of tendons can cause a lot of pain and tenderness in the affected joint. Any tendon in the body can be affected by tendinitis, but the most common areas for tendonitis are wrists, elbows, shoulders, heels, and knees. Tendinitis is the general term that covers all of these, but specific inflamed tendons can have specific names that you may be more aware of such as:

  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tennis elbow
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Swimmer’s or pitcher’s shoulder
  • Achilles tendinitis.

Tendinitis is most common among adults that do a lot of sports. As you age you become more susceptible to tendinitis as tendons start to lose elasticity and become weaker. The usual treatment for tendonitis includes rest, ice, and painkillers to deal with the pain and tenderness. For a lot of people, this may be enough to reduce the inflammation, but in serious cases, steroid injections or sometimes even surgery can happen.

How can chiropractic help with tendinitis?

While chiropractic mostly focuses on the spine, chiropractors are also trained in adjusting extremities. They understand how all the different joints work, how different conditions can affect the joints, and how best to adjust them to help them heal. When it comes to tendinitis, chiropractors can help with both prevention and treatment. Tendinitis often happens because the joints aren’t moving properly. This places excess stress on the tendon and causes them to reach inflammation. Chiropractors are able to locate joints that aren’t moving or functioning correctly and adjust them. As a result, they restore proper biomechanics, to relieve the excess stress that may have been placed on the tendons. This is also useful for a joint that already has tendinitis.

Chiropractic vs traditional care

By adjusting the joint to get it moving properly, this is removing the cause of the issue, rather than just treating the symptoms. This is the major difference between chiropractic and normal medical treatment, as chiropractic focuses on removing the source of the issue to allow the body to heal itself, and to prevent further issues from happening, in a safe, natural, and effective way, whereas medical treatment is often focuses on minimising symptoms in order to reduce pain and discomfort. Because chiropractors have good knowledge of extremities they can also provide lifestyle advice that can help prevent things like tendinitis from happening, or help them heal if they do occur. This can include things like stretching and exercises, as well advice on when to rest, and further prevention tactics. Chiropractic care has been found to be very effective when it comes to treating tendinitis, and is a great option of someone looking for a safe and natural way to deal with tendinitis, that doesn’t have the same side effects as medications. It tackles the cause of the condition rather than just masking the symptoms, which can provide a full resolution to tendinitis as well as preventing it from reoccurring.