top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureMin Jeon

Tendin' to Tendonitis: Spring into Action and Let Pain Take a Hike!

Updated: Apr 26




As the world bursts into vibrant colors and the air fills with scents of nature blooming, spring beckons us to step outside and embrace the joys of active living. From playing outdoor sports, tending to our gardens with eager hands, and hitting the trails for invigorating hikes, this season invites us to indulge in a myriad of outdoor activities that celebrate the beauty of nature.



Yet, amidst the excitement of springtime adventures, there's a common condition that may be encountered along the way: tendonitis. Tendonitis, a temporary hitch in our active lifestyles, often arises from the repetitive motions and sudden bursts of activity that characterize our springtime pursuits. Whether it's the rhythmic digging in our garden beds, the swift strokes of a tennis racket, or the exhilarating strides along woodland trails, our tendons may occasionally remind us to tread with care.



But here's the good news: tendonitis is not a roadblock, but rather a gentle nudge from our bodies to practice mindfulness and self-care. It's an invitation to tune in to the signals our bodies are sending and make empowered choices that support our health and well-being.



Within the realm of comprehensive healing and overall well-being, there's an approach to support you with recovery and prevention. Enter acupuncture, a comprehensive treatment that offers a beacon of hope for those seeking relief from tendonitis discomfort. By gently stimulating specific points, acupuncture may promote relaxation, reduce inflammation, and support the body's natural healing processes. It may be a gentle yet powerful ally in your quest for pain relief and renewed vitality.



Alongside this comprehensive therapy, there are simple lifestyle adjustments and proactive measures you can incorporate to mitigate the risk of tendonitis and nurture your body's resilience. From warming up before activities to incorporating strength-building exercises into your routine, every proactive step you take brings you closer to a springtime filled with energy and excitement for outdoor activities.


So, as you lace up your sneakers, unfurl your yoga mat in the yard, or pick up your gardening gloves, remember that with the proper steps tendonitis may be relieved and/or prevented. With each mindful movement and intentional choice, you're nurturing your body, cultivating resilience, and embracing the abundant possibilities of springtime living.



In this blog, we will dive into the world of tendonitis, exploring what it is, its potential causes and symptoms and how acupuncture may provide relief from this condition.

Now, let's embark on this journey together to find relief from tendonitis so that we may continue celebrating the joy of active living and relishing in the beauty of the spring.





Understanding Tendonitis


Tendonitis, also known as tendinitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation or irritation of a tendon, which is a thick cord that attaches muscle to bone. Tendons play a crucial role in transmitting the forces generated by muscle contractions to the bones, enabling movement. When tendons are subjected to repetitive stress, overuse, or sudden injury, they can become inflamed, resulting in tendonitis. This inflammation can occur in any tendon in the body but is most common in areas subjected to repetitive motions or excessive strain, such as the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. In addition to overuse or repetitive strain, factors such as aging, poor posture, improper technique during physical activities, or underlying conditions like arthritis can contribute to the development of tendonitis. The inflammation in tendonitis can lead to pain, stiffness, and sometimes swelling in the affected area, impacting mobility and function. 



Tendonitis is a common condition that affects millions of individuals across all backgrounds and genders each year. Its prevalence is notably high among athletes, workers engaged in repetitive tasks, and older adults. Additionally, the increasing participation in physical activities and sports, coupled with aging populations in many countries, may contribute to the growing incidence of tendonitis worldwide. It can occur as either an acute (short term) or chronic (long term) condition, with symptoms varying in severity and duration depending on individual factors such as the extent of the injury, underlying health conditions, and treatment approaches.





Potential Causes of Tendonitis


Tendonitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon, often caused by overuse or repetitive movements. Here are some potential causes of tendonitis:


Repetitive Motion: 

Tendonitis often occurs due to repetitive movements that strain the tendons over time. This can include activities like typing on a keyboard, painting, or playing musical instruments, where the same motions are performed repeatedly.


Sports Injuries: 

Athletes frequently experience tendonitis because many sports involve repetitive motions or intense physical activity. Running, tennis, golf, and baseball are just a few examples where the repetitive strain on tendons can lead to inflammation and injury.


Poor Posture: 

Incorrect posture during activities can put undue stress on specific tendons, leading to inflammation and pain. For example, poor ergonomics while sitting at a desk or lifting heavy objects with improper form can strain tendons and contribute to tendonitis.


Muscle Imbalance: 

When certain muscles are stronger or tighter than others, it can create imbalances in the body's biomechanics, leading to increased strain on specific tendons. Over time, this imbalance can contribute to the development of tendonitis.


Overuse: 

Overuse of a tendon without allowing sufficient time for rest and recovery can lead to chronic irritation and inflammation. This is commonly seen in individuals who engage in repetitive activities without adequate breaks.


Age: 

Tendons may lose elasticity and become more prone to injury as we age. The natural aging process can weaken tendons, making them more susceptible to inflammation and injury, even with minor repetitive movements.


Improper Technique: 

Incorrect form or technique during physical activities can place excessive stress on tendons, increasing the risk of tendonitis. This can occur in activities such as weightlifting, running, or playing sports when proper form is not maintained.


Work-Related Activities: 

Certain occupations that involve repetitive motions, heavy lifting, or prolonged periods of standing or sitting can increase the risk of developing tendonitis. Jobs such as assembly line work, construction, or office work can all contribute to tendon strain and inflammation.


Sudden Increase in Activity: 

Rapidly increasing the intensity, duration, or frequency of physical activity without proper conditioning can overwhelm the body's ability to adapt, leading to strain and injury to the tendons.


Inadequate Warm-Up: 

Failing to warm up properly before engaging in physical activity can result in tight or stiff muscles and tendons, making them more susceptible to injury. Proper warm-up exercises help prepare the body for movement and reduce the risk of tendonitis.


Biomechanical Factors: 

Structural abnormalities or imbalances in the body's biomechanics, such as flat feet, high arches, or leg length discrepancies, can alter the distribution of forces on tendons, increasing the risk of tendonitis.


Obesity: 

Excess body weight places additional stress on tendons, particularly those in the lower extremities, increasing the risk of inflammation and injury. Obesity also contributes to inflammation throughout the body, further predisposing individuals to tendonitis.


Inflammatory Diseases: 

Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or gout can cause systemic inflammation, affecting tendons and increasing the risk of tendonitis. In these conditions, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, including tendons.


Infections: 

While rare, bacterial or viral infections can lead to inflammation of tendons, resulting in tendonitis. Infections can occur due to direct trauma to the tendon or as a complication of another underlying condition.


Medications: 

Certain medications, such as fluoroquinolone antibiotics or statins, have been associated with an increased risk of tendonitis as a side effect. These medications may weaken tendons and make them more susceptible to injury and inflammation.


Smoking

Smoking impairs blood flow to tissues, including tendons, reducing their ability to heal and increasing the risk of tendonitis. Smoking also contributes to inflammation throughout the body, potentially further exacerbating tendon problems.


Diabetes: 

Diabetes may affect the structure and function of tendons due to changes in collagen production and tissue metabolism. High blood sugar levels may lead to tendon thickening and stiffness, increasing the risk of tendonitis and other tendon-related problems.


Genetics: 

Some individuals may have an inherited predisposition to tendonitis due to factors such as tendon structure or metabolism. Genetic factors can influence tendon strength, elasticity, and susceptibility to injury.


Previous Injuries: 

Tendons that have been previously injured may be more vulnerable to further injury and inflammation. Scar tissue from previous injuries can weaken the tendon and alter its biomechanics, increasing the risk of recurrent tendonitis.


Environmental Factors: 

Environmental factors such as cold weather or exposure to vibration from machinery or power tools may exacerbate tendonitis or increase the risk of developing it. Cold temperatures can cause muscles and tendons to tighten, making them more prone to injury, while vibration may strain tendons over time.



These are just some of the potential causes of tendonitis, and individual cases may vary.  A single factor or a combination of factors may contribute to the development of tendonitis, and understanding them may help in both prevention and treatment.






Potential Symptoms of Tendonitis


Tendonitis, marked by the inflammation or irritation of a tendon—a thick cord linking muscle to bone- may present through a range of symptoms. Here are some common symptoms of tendonitis:


Pain

Pain is the hallmark symptom of tendonitis. It usually begins as a dull ache that gradually worsens over time. The pain may be localized to the affected tendon and may worsen with movement or activity.


Tenderness

Tenderness is another common symptom of tendonitis. The affected area may feel tender to the touch, and pressing on it may exacerbate the pain.


Swelling

Inflammation of the tendon can lead to swelling in the affected area. This swelling may be visible or palpable and is often accompanied by warmth.


Stiffness: 

Tendonitis can cause stiffness in the affected joint, making movement difficult or painful, especially after periods of rest or in the morning.


Weakness: 

Weakness in the affected muscle or joint may occur due to pain and inflammation, leading to reduced strength and functionality.


Redness: 

In some cases, the skin overlying the affected tendon may appear red or flushed due to increased blood flow to the area as part of the inflammatory response.


Limited Range of Motion: 

Tendonitis can restrict the normal range of motion of the affected joint, making it difficult to perform certain movements without pain or discomfort.


Crepitus: 

Crepitus refers to a crackling or popping sensation that may be felt or heard when moving the affected joint. It is caused by friction between the inflamed tendon and surrounding tissues.


Burning Sensation: 

Some individuals with tendonitis may experience a burning sensation in the affected area, particularly during or after physical activity.


Numbness or Tingling: 

In severe cases, tendonitis may compress nearby nerves, leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation.


Muscle Spasms: 

Tendonitis can cause muscle spasms or involuntary contractions in the affected muscle, which may exacerbate pain and discomfort.


Muscle Fatigue: 

Chronic tendonitis may lead to muscle fatigue, particularly during activities that involve the affected tendon.


Difficulty Sleeping: 

Discomfort from tendonitis may interfere with sleep, especially if lying in certain positions exacerbates symptoms.


Pain with Activity: 

Tendonitis pain typically worsens with physical activity or movement involving the affected tendon, and may improve with rest.


Pain at Rest: 

In advanced cases, tendonitis pain may persist even at rest, particularly if the inflammation is severe or if there are structural changes to the tendon.


Painful Grasping or Gripping: 

Tendonitis in the hand or wrist may cause pain with activities that involve grasping or gripping objects, such as writing, typing, or holding utensils.


Pain with Weight-Bearing: 

Tendonitis affecting the lower extremities, such as the Achilles tendon or patellar tendon, may cause pain with weight-bearing activities like walking or running.


Pain from Pressure: 

Pain may be elicited by pressing on the affected tendon during a physical examination.


Referred Pain: 

Tendonitis pain may radiate to nearby areas, leading to referred pain in surrounding muscles or joints.


Chronic Pain: 

If left untreated, tendonitis may become chronic, resulting in persistent or recurrent pain that may last for weeks, months, or even years.



Symptoms and severity may vary for each individual. It's essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment to prevent worsening symptoms and potential complications.






Potential Benefits of Acupuncture for Tendonitis


Acupuncture has become a popular treatment option for treating tendonitis due to many potential benefits. Benefits may vary for each individual. Here are some potential benefits of acupuncture for tendonitis:


Pain Relief: 

Acupuncture may potentially help alleviate pain associated with tendonitis by stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers. Additionally, it may help modulate pain signals in the brain and spinal cord, potentially leading to reduced pain perception.


Inflammation Reduction: 

Tendonitis often involves inflammation of the affected tendon. Acupuncture has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and promoting the release of anti-inflammatory substances, such as adenosine.


Improved Blood Circulation: 

Acupuncture may promote blood circulation to the affected area, which can help deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tendon, potentially aiding in its repair and reducing inflammation.


Muscle Relaxation: 

Tight muscles around the affected tendon can exacerbate tendonitis symptoms. Acupuncture may potentially help relax these muscles by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), potentially leading to muscle relaxation and reduced tension.


Enhanced Healing Response: 

Acupuncture may potentially stimulate the body's natural healing response by promoting the release of growth factors, such as fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which play crucial roles in tissue repair and regeneration.


Normalization of Nervous System Function: 

Tendonitis can disrupt the normal function of the nervous system, leading to increased pain sensitivity and altered motor function. Acupuncture may potentially help restore the balance of the nervous system by modulating neurotransmitter levels and improving nerve conduction.


Reduction of Scar Tissue Formation: 

Chronic tendonitis can lead to the formation of scar tissue, which may impair the tendon's flexibility and function. Acupuncture may potentially help prevent excessive scar tissue formation by promoting collagen remodeling and enhancing tissue elasticity.


Stress Reduction: 

Chronic pain and inflammation associated with tendonitis may contribute to stress and anxiety. Acupuncture has been shown to have stress-reducing effects by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which promote feelings of relaxation and well-being.


Enhanced Range of Motion: 

Tendonitis can restrict joint mobility and range of motion. Acupuncture may potentially help improve joint flexibility by relaxing muscles, reducing inflammation, and promoting tissue healing, potentially allowing for greater freedom of movement.


Improved Sleep Quality: 

Pain and discomfort from tendonitis can disrupt sleep patterns. Acupuncture may potentially improve sleep quality by inducing relaxation, reducing pain perception, and regulating the release of sleep-promoting hormones, such as melatonin.


Boosted Immune Function: 

Acupuncture has been shown to enhance immune function by stimulating the activity of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer cells, and promoting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. This may help prevent secondary infections and support overall health during tendonitis recovery.


Localized Healing Response: 

Acupuncture may stimulate a localized healing response. This may potentially include increased blood flow, immune cell recruitment, and the release of growth factors, all of which promote tissue repair and regeneration.


Long-Term Relief:

Acupuncture may potentially provide long-term relief from tendonitis symptoms by addressing underlying imbalances in the body's energy systems, promoting tissue healing, and reducing the risk of recurrence. Regular acupuncture treatments may help maintain relief and prevent future flare-ups.


Comprehensive Approach to Wellness:

Acupuncture takes a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, considering not only the physical symptoms of tendonitis but also the individual's emotional and mental well-being. By addressing the root causes of imbalance within the body, acupuncture aims to restore overall health and vitality, potentially supporting optimal recovery from tendonitis.



Acupuncture may offer numerous potential benefits for tendonitis, though the benefits may vary from person to person. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment plan to be sure they are suitable for your specific condition and needs.






Additional Strategies to Potentially Help Improve and Prevent the Symptoms of Tendonitis


Rest

Tendonitis often results from overuse or repetitive strain, so resting the affected tendon is crucial for allowing it to heal. Avoid activities that exacerbate pain or discomfort, and give the tendon adequate time to recover.  While rest is important, complete immobilization of the affected area for an extended period may lead to stiffness and weakness. Gentle movement and stretching can help maintain flexibility and prevent stiffness.


Ice Therapy: 

Applying ice helps reduce inflammation and numbs the area, providing pain relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin; always wrap the ice pack in a cloth or towel to prevent ice burns. Limit ice therapy sessions to 15-20 minutes at a time to avoid tissue damage.


Compression: 

Compression bandages or wraps may help reduce swelling and provide support to the affected tendon. Avoid wrapping the bandage too tightly, as it can restrict blood flow and exacerbate swelling. Remove the compression bandage if it causes numbness, tingling, or increased pain.


Elevation

Elevating the affected limb above heart level may help reduce swelling by promoting drainage of fluid from the area. Ensure that the limb is comfortably supported while elevated to prevent strain or discomfort. Avoid prolonged elevation, as it may lead to numbness or tingling.


Stretching

Gentle stretching exercises may improve flexibility and range of motion in the affected tendon, promoting healing. Avoid overstretching or forcing movements beyond your comfort level, as this can further irritate the tendon. Perform stretches slowly and hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds without bouncing. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional for a personalized exercise routine that is suited for your condition.


Healthy Diet: 

Consuming a balanced diet rich in nutrients essential for tendon health, such as vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as chia seeds and flaxseeds, may help support healing and reduce inflammation. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and saturated fats, as they can promote inflammation and hinder recovery. Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before making changes to your diet and nutritional supplement regimen to ensure they are suitable for your individual needs and health condition.


Hydration: 

Maintaining adequate hydration is essential for tendon health and flexibility. Drink water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated, especially during physical activity or in hot weather. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 

Incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, such as chia seeds and flaxseeds. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate symptoms of tendonitis.


Turmeric: 

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with anti-inflammatory properties. Adding turmeric to your diet or taking turmeric supplements may help reduce inflammation associated with tendonitis. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your supplement regime.


Herbal Remedies: 

Certain herbs like bromelain, ginger, and boswellia may have anti-inflammatory properties that could help reduce inflammation and pain associated with tendonitis. Always consult with a healthcare professional before trying herbal remedies, especially if you're taking medications or have underlying health conditions.


Epsom Salt Baths: 

Soaking the affected area in warm water with Epsom salts may help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying this remedy, especially if you have any skin sensitivities, allergies, or underlying health conditions. Additionally, avoid soaking open wounds or broken skin in Epsom salt baths.


Strengthening Exercises: 

Gradually incorporating strengthening exercises can help support the affected tendon and prevent future injury. Start with low resistance and gradually increase the intensity as tolerated. Avoid overloading the tendon with heavy weights or high-impact exercises too soon, as this can worsen symptoms. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional for a personalized exercise routine that is suited for your condition.


Proper Ergonomics: 

Maintaining proper posture and ergonomics at work and during daily activities reduces strain on tendons and prevents repetitive stress injuries. Take regular breaks to change positions and avoid prolonged periods of sitting or standing in one position. Adjust workstations and equipment to fit your body properly.


Use of Orthotics: 

Orthotic devices or shoe inserts provide support and alignment to reduce pressure on affected tendons. Choose orthotics that are recommended by a healthcare professional and properly fitted to your feet. Avoid using worn-out or ill-fitting orthotics, as they may exacerbate symptoms.


Proper Footwear: 

Wearing supportive and properly fitting footwear is essential for maintaining good foot mechanics and preventing strain on tendons. Replace worn-out shoes with supportive ones that provide adequate cushioning and stability. Avoid high heels or shoes with inadequate arch support, especially during physical activities.


Warm-Up and Cool Down: 

Proper warm-up prepares muscles and tendons for activity, while cooling down helps promote recovery and reduce the risk of injury. Warm up with dynamic stretches (examples include gentle leg swings, arm circles, and torso twists) and light aerobic exercises before engaging in more intense physical activity. All movements should be performed smoothly and rhythmically, without bouncing or jerking, to avoid strain or injury. By performing these exercises gently you may help improve flexibility, increase blood flow to the muscles, and activate the nervous system, which may improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Similarly, cool down with gentle stretches and gradual reduction in intensity to prevent muscle and tendon stiffness. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional for a personalized exercise routine that is suited for your condition.


Activity Variety: 

Incorporating a variety of activities into your fitness routine prevents overuse of specific tendons and reduces the risk of tendonitis. Avoid sudden changes in activity or intensity, as this can increase the risk of injury. Gradually introduce new activities and allow time for adaptation.


Posture Correction: 

Maintaining good posture can reduce strain on tendons, especially in the neck, shoulders, and back. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day, especially during prolonged sitting or standing. Use ergonomic supports such as lumbar rolls or ergonomic chairs to maintain proper spinal alignment.


Avoid Overexertion: 

Pace yourself during physical activities and avoid overexertion to prevent overuse injuries such as tendonitis. Listen to your body and respect its limits. Avoid pushing through pain or fatigue, as it may indicate tissue damage or overstrain. Rest and allow adequate recovery time between workouts or activities.


Proper Technique: 

Learning and practicing proper techniques for sports and activities reduces the risk of strain and injury to tendons. Take time to learn correct form and technique from qualified instructors or trainers. Avoid pushing through pain or fatigue, as it may indicate improper form or overexertion.


Massage Therapy: 

Regular massages may improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and promote healing of tendons. Choose a qualified massage therapist experienced in treating tendonitis or sports injuries. Avoid deep tissue massage or intense pressure directly over the affected tendon, as it may aggravate symptoms.


Physical Therapy: 

Physical therapy may include modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or manual therapy to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected tendon and surrounding muscles.


Listen to Your Body: 

Pay attention to warning signs of overuse or injury, such as pain, swelling, or stiffness, and adjust activities accordingly. Ignoring pain or discomfort and pushing through it can worsen tendonitis and lead to more severe injury. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention promptly.



Please note that while these suggestions can be beneficial for improving and preventing tendonitis symptoms, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before implementing any new treatment, supplements, or lifestyle changes. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance based on your individual condition, medical history, and specific needs.






In conclusion, as we embrace the blossoming season of spring, let us also prioritize our health and well-being. Tendonitis may present a temporary challenge, but with proactive measures and comprehensive approaches such as acupuncture, you may find relief from discomfort and rediscover the boundless joys of outdoor activities. Acupuncture potentially offers relief from inflammation, promotes relaxation, and supports the body's natural healing processes.



Additionally, incorporating natural strategies such as proper warm-up routines, ergonomic techniques during activities, hydration, and anti-inflammatory foods into our diets can further enhance our resilience against tendonitis and promote overall wellness. By nurturing our bodies and embracing a comprehensive approach to health, we pave the way for a springtime filled with joy, vitality, strength, and renewed appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. Together, let's embark on this journey of healing and empowerment, celebrating the richness of active living and reveling in the splendor of the season. Here's to a spring filled with wellness, resilience, and endless possibilities!





If you're experiencing the discomfort of tendonitis and seeking relief, Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic is here to support you. Led by the highly skilled practitioner, Dr. Min K. Jeon, our clinic has successfully helped numerous individuals find relief from tendonitis symptoms through our comprehensive approach. Dr. Min brings a wealth of experience to the table, utilizing not only acupuncture but also complementary therapies to potentially enhance your recovery process.



We invite you to take the next step towards potential relief by scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Min. During this session, Dr. Min will discuss your concerns, answer questions, evaluate your condition, and craft a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.



Don't let tendonitis hold you back any longer. Contact us at Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic today to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards relief and overall well-being. Spring into action and let pain take a hike!


23 views0 comments

Kommentare


bottom of page