Tendonitis involves inflammation of the tendons in the elbow and is usually caused by long-term repeated movements resulting in pain.
Though the terms ‘Tennis Elbow’ and ‘Golfer’s Elbow’ are often used to describe tendonitis flare-ups in respective parts of the elbow, tendonitis can be caused by many things other than just sports.
Activities that require plenty of repeated motions may make us more susceptible to tendonitis, such as painting, hammering, raking and even playing an instrument.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
‘Golfer’s Elbow’ refers to inflammation that has occurred on the inside of the elbow, whereas ‘Tennis Elbow’ refers to inflammation that has occurred on the top of the forearm.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The symptoms of tendonitis often go unexamined and undiagnosed until the pain of it becomes too much to bear.
Symptoms of tendonitis include stiffness in the arm coupled with the lack of ability to make a full fist without pain. Those suffering with tendonitis may also experience difficulty carrying and lifting objects, as well as trouble fully extending the forearm.
A key difference is that those experiencing Tennis Elbow will feel a tenderness on the outside of the elbow, while those experiencing Golfer’s Elbow will feel pain on the inside of the elbow.
In many cases, however, the problem is not limited to the elbow.
At Aculosophy, we use specialized muscle assessment techniques called “motor point release” to identify any muscle problems that might exist within the neck and shoulder areas.
As this type of imbalance may inhibit the muscles ability to fire properly, failure to treat them can result in a prolonged healing process and a higher risk of returning injuries.
PREVENTION & TREATMENT
Preventing tendonitis can be tricky but very doable.
Ensure to never jump straight into any physically strenuous activity without an ample warm-up that includes gentle stretching.
Take physical activities slow and always make sure to take breaks and rest if you feel over-exerted.
Do not forget to limit your repetitions to ensure your tendons don’t wear themselves down too quickly; and never, under any circumstances, ignore pain!
Light resistance training can also be greatly beneficial for strengthening the tendons and muscles in your arms.
The initial treatment most recommended for tendonitis is the RICE method:
- Ice (for the first 12 hours, only)
Traditional Acupuncture therapy is also considered to be a safe and proven non-invasive and non-medicated method for naturally stimulating the body to heal and rehabilitate injuries.
Apart from promoting and increasing circulation to the wounded area, acupuncture treatment will force the body to release anti-inflammatory compounds to assist in recovery and pain management.
The benefit to this holistic form of treatment is that unlike pain medication, acupuncture does not weaken the body’s ability to self-manage pain and inflammation, rather it strengthens the body’s ability to self-heal.
The practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine may also include the use of herbs as treatment to help reduce inflammation and repair soft tissues, however the types of herbs need and the required dosage varies from patient to patient, and will be determined at the appropriate time in your recovery cycle by us, your TCM specialists.