Tendon Injuries Treatment: Shockwave Therapy

Tendon Injuries Treatment

Tendon injuries happen when the tough, stretchy tissues that connect your muscles to your bones get damaged. These injuries are pretty common, especially among people who play sports or do activities that involve repeating the same movements over and over.

Think of tendons like strong ropes that help your muscles pull on your bones to make your body move. When these ropes get overstretched or torn, it can cause pain, swelling, and make it hard to move the affected area.

Activities like running, jumping, or playing sports like tennis or basketball can put a lot of strain on your tendons, leading to injuries like tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon) or even tears in severe cases.

Treatment for tendon injuries usually involves rest, ice, physical therapy, and sometimes, if it’s really bad, surgery. But nowadays, there’s a new treatment called shockwave therapy that uses sound waves to help speed up healing and reduce pain. It’s like giving your body a little boost to help it fix itself.

 

Types of Tendon Injury and Treatment

Tendon injuries can be painful and affect your ability to move and perform daily activities. Here’s a breakdown of common tendon injuries:

  1. Achilles Tendinopathy

Type of tendon injury is when the tough tissue or Achilles Tendon connecting your calf muscles to your heel becomes irritated or inflamed, causing pain and stiffness in the back of your ankle.

Treatment: The treatment often includes rest, exercises to strengthen the calf muscles, and in some cases, shockwave therapy, which uses sound waves to help reduce pain and promote healing in the affected tendon.

  1. Patellar Tendinopathy

This occurs the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone becomes painful and swollen, often seen in people who do a lot of jumping or sports like basketball and volleyball.

Treatment: Often includes rest, exercises to strengthen the knee, and in some cases, shockwave therapy, which uses sound waves to help speed up healing and reduce pain.

  1. Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

This tendon injury happens when the tendons on the outside of your elbow get overused and become painful.

Treatment: May include rest, ice, physical therapy, and in some cases, shockwave therapy, which uses sound waves to help reduce pain and promote healing in the affected tendon.

  1. Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Golfer’s Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, is a type of tendon injury where the tendons on the inside of the elbow get overused and become painful, often due to repetitive wrist and finger movements.

Treatment: The treatment includes rest, ice, exercises to strengthen and stretch the affected area, and sometimes shockwave therapy, which uses sound waves to help reduce pain and promote healing.

  1. Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

This is a type of tendon injury that happens when the tendons in the shoulder become irritated or damaged, causing pain and limited movement.

Treatment: Involves rest, gentle exercises, and in some cases, shockwave therapy, which uses sound waves to help heal the damaged tendon and reduce pain.

  1. Plantar Fasciitis

This tendon injury involves damage to the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that connects the heel bone to the toes, causing pain in the bottom of the foot.

Treatment: The treatment involves rest, wearing supportive shoes, stretching exercises, seeking medical attention and in some cases, shockwave therapy, which uses sound waves to help reduce pain and promote healing in the bottom of the foot.

Types of Tendon

Tendons in the body serve different functions and are named according to the muscles they connect to and the bones they attach to. For example:

Posterior Tibial Tendon: It runs along the inside of the ankle and foot, connecting the calf muscles to the bones on the inside of the foot. This tendon helps support the arch of the foot and is crucial for maintaining balance and stability while walking or standing. It’s particularly important for activities that involve lifting the heel off the ground or pushing off with the toes, such as walking, running, or jumping. Injuries or inflammation to the posterior tibial tendon can lead to conditions like posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), which can cause pain, weakness, and changes in the foot’s arch and alignment.

 

Rupture Vs. Injury

Tendon

The difference between a ruptured tendon and a tendon injury lies in the severity and extent of damage: a tendon injury refers to any form of damage or strain to a tendon, ranging from inflammation or irritation to partial tears, whereas a ruptured tendon specifically entails a complete tear or breakage of the tendon, often resulting in significant impairment and requiring specific treatment such as surgical intervention.

  • Tendon Rupture
  1. A ruptured tendon is when a tough band of tissue that connects muscles to bones breaks or tears completely, causing severe pain, swelling, and weakness in the affected area, and often requiring medical attention to repair the torn tendon and regain normal function.
  2. Treatment: The treatment for tendon rupture often involves surgical repair to reconnect the torn tendon. Shockwave therapy may also be a non-invasive option to help promote healing and restore function in some cases.
  • Tendon Injuries
  1. A tendon injury happens when the tough, stretchy tissue that connects your muscles to your bones gets hurt or strained. This can occur from doing repetitive movements, overusing a certain muscle, or from a sudden force. Tendon injuries can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected area. Treatment usually involves rest, icing, and sometimes physical therapy to help the tendon heal properly.
  2. Treatment: For tendon injuries, shockwave treatment is often used to help the body heal and reduce pain. It involves using special waves to target the injured area and promote tissue repair without surgery.

 

Achilles Tendinopathy and Achilles Tendon Rupture

Achilles tendinopathy entails irritation or degeneration of the Achilles tendon, whereas Achilles tendon rupture denotes a more serious injury characterized by a complete tendon tear or tendon breakage. Both conditions necessitate proper medical assessment and treatment to facilitate healing and regain functionality, particularly in the case of a tendon tear.

  1. Achilles Tendinopathy-This refers to a condition where the Achilles tendon becomes irritated, inflamed, or degenerated due to overuse, repetitive stress, or other factors. It encompasses various stages of tendon damage, including tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon) and tendinosis (degeneration of the tendon). Symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy typically include pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased function in the lower leg and ankle. If left untreated, tendinopathy can progress and increase the risk of tendon rupture.
  2. Achilles Tendon Rupture-This occurs when the Achilles tendon tears or completely breaks, resulting in a loss of function and severe pain in the affected leg. Achilles tendon ruptures can happen suddenly during activities that involve pushing off forcefully with the foot or from a sudden force applied to the tendon. It’s often described as feeling like a sudden “pop” or “snap” in the back of the ankle. Unlike tendinopathy, which involves degeneration or inflammation of the tendon, a rupture involves a complete separation of the tendon fibers.

 

How do Tendons Connect Muscles to Bones?

Tendons are like tough ropes that connect muscles to bones in our bodies. They play a crucial role in allowing us to move. When we want to move a part of our body, like bending our arm or lifting our leg, our brain sends signals to the muscles. The muscles then contract, or tighten up, pulling on the tendons attached to them.

These tendons act like strong connectors, transmitting the force from the muscles to the bones they’re attached to. This pulling action causes the bones to move, allowing us to perform various movements and activities. So, without tendons, our muscles wouldn’t be able to move our bones, and we wouldn’t be able to do things like walk, run, or even just pick up something with our hands.

 

Shockwave Therapy Preparation And Procedure for Tendon Injury

 

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for tendon injuries, and proper preparation and procedure ensure safe and effective outcomes. Shockwave therapy preparation and procedure for tendon injury typically involve several steps to ensure effective treatment:

 

Assessment and Diagnosis:

Before undergoing shockwave therapy, your healthcare provider will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your condition. This may include a physical examination, review of your medical history, and possibly imaging tests like X-rays or ultrasounds to confirm the diagnosis and pinpoint the treatment area.

Preparation:

You’ll be asked to change into comfortable clothing and position yourself to allow easy access to the treatment area. Depending on the condition, the area may need to be cleaned or shaved to ensure optimal contact with the shockwave applicator.

Application of Gel

A gel is applied on the area getting treated. This gel helps the shockwaves move through and makes sure the applicator touches your skin the right way.

Shockwave Delivery

The healthcare provider will utilize a handheld device emitting high-energy acoustic waves, positioning it directly against your skin at the treatment site to deliver targeted shockwaves. The intensity and frequency of these shockwaves can be tailored according to the specific condition and individual tolerance levels.

 

Treatment Session

Throughout the session, the shockwaves are administered with precision and care. You might perceive rapid, rhythmic pulses or sensations of shock, which can cause mild discomfort or pain, though typically manageable.

Duration and Number of Sessions

A typical session of shockwave therapy usually lasts between 10 to 20 minutes. The number of sessions needed varies depending on factors like the severity of the condition and how well you respond to treatment. To achieve the best results, multiple sessions are often recommended, typically scheduled a week or more apart.

 

Post-Treatment Care

 

Following the procedure, you can typically return to your regular activities. Nonetheless, your healthcare provider might give you instructions, such as avoiding intense physical exertion or certain medications that could impede healing. Additionally, they may offer advice on managing discomfort and identifying any possible side effects to monitor.

 

Effectiveness, Benefits, And Outcomes of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a treatment used to help heal tendon injuries in the body. It works by using special waves, like sound waves, to target the injured area. Unlike some other treatments, shockwave therapy doesn’t break down tissues; instead, it helps the body repair and regenerate damaged tissues. This therapy has been used for over ten years to treat different tendon problems, like heel pain (plantar fasciitis), tennis elbow, and shoulder tendonitis.Tendon Injuries Treatment: Shockwave Therapy

Treatment for tendon injuries usually involves rest, ice, physical therapy, and sometimes, if it’s really bad, surgery. But nowadays, there’s a new treatment called shockwave therapy that uses sound waves to help speed up healing and reduce pain. It’s like giving your body a little boost to help it fix itself. Studies show that shockwave therapy can be quite effective, with success rates ranging from 65% to 91%. Plus, it has very few complications. In fact, it’s been approved by the FDA in the United States for certain tendon injuries since 2000. Overall, shockwave therapy is a safe and non-invasive way to treat tendon injuries, offering positive results for many people.

Remember, shockwave therapy should only be done by trained and qualified healthcare experts who know how to handle the specific conditions being treated.

You can schedule a free 15-minute consultation with Dr. Francisco Jeannot to see if Shockwave Therapy could be a good option for you.

 

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