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August 11, 2008

Tendonitis vs. Tendonosis

Experience Life Magazine does it again with another excellent article titled Tendon Trouble. Knowing the difference between tendonitis and tendonosis can help speed your recovery from these tendon injuries that people usually lump into the disorder called tendonitis.

In short, tendonosis is an inflammation of the tendon accompanied by heat. With the application of ice and rest, the condition can clear in up in about two weeks.

Tendonosis, on the other hand, is a degenerative, over-use injury that takes three to nine months to heal.

“It’s not realistic to think you can heal in, say, six weeks, because it probably took a lot longer than that to reach the point of pain,” says Bryan Chung, MD, PhD, founder of the blog Evidence-Based Fitness (www.evidencebasedfitness.blogspot.com). (By the way, this is a blog that I'm excited to discover, because as I progress through physical therapy school, evidence-based practice will become more critical in my decision-making. It is nice to see someone discussing exercise theory from an evidence-based perspective.)

Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can actually delay healing of tendonitis because of disruption of DNA in cells that help rebuild tendon. Also, due to limited blood flow to tendonous areas, healing time can be slowed down. This is where deep tissue massage can be a help treatment, along with acupuncture, ultrasound, and e-stim, anything that increases blood flow to the affected area.

My husband, author of Largeheartedboy.com, has a touch of repetitive strain in his elbow from all the computer work that he does on his website. Thanks to this article and the related exercise links and back-issues, I can select more effective treatments for his tendonosis such as eccentric exercises like wrist drops (an eccentric variation of the reverse wrist curl, I'm assuming) and stretching.

When included as part of physical therapy, a well-designed eccentric training program can encourage more rapid recovery from injuries.

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Posted by linda at August 11, 2008 7:53 PM

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