The other day while buying screws for a project I’m working on, I noticed an employee wearing what looked like a flexible cast or bandage for a burn. I was told it was for tendonitis.
Because of some very simple lifestyle choices, tendonitis hasn’t been a problem in my life for many years. I still work long hours, repeatedly lift heavy objects and do repetitive exercise the same as when tendonitis was a problem. So what’s my answer? First, let’s look at what tendonitis is and what’s usually done.
Tendons are strong connective tissue between muscle and bone. Tendons are made of tissue that can’t stretch. Tendonitis, also spelled tendinitis, is caused when the tendon fibers are torn or become inflamed.
Muscle is more easily conditioned to increased effort, work loads, exercise, new, different or changing lifestyles. Tendons, like bone, take longer to strengthen and become conditioned to changes than muscle. Often, tendonitis becomes a problem days or weeks after an alteration in work load.
Tendonitis is usually a result of overuse. If we subject a muscle or group of muscles and the attached tendons to repetitive, jerking movements, like ballistic stretching or hammering nails, the tendon can be torn loose from muscle or bone. Even microscopic tears can cause inflammation and swelling.
A sheath similar to the lining of the joints (synovium) usually surrounds tendons. Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the lining of the tendon sheaths (tenosynovium). Tendons can be subject to the wear and tear of aging, direct injury and inflammatory diseases. The body is capable of repairing and replacing worn or damaged parts, some parts in as little as a few hours, the taste buds for instance, if we don’t poison it on a daily basis.
When small tears in tendon fiber develops, the body initiates the injury repair process, which involves scar tissue. Inflammation is part of the injury repair process and blood supply is increased bringing infection-fighting agents and nutrients to damaged tissues, resulting in swelling, tenderness, pain and heat. Redness may occur if the injury is close to the surface. Tendonitis can be dull, throbbing and ever present but not as exaggerated as acute injuries. Swelling, heat, and redness are not always visible in tendonitis because the pain and symptoms are not as intense.
High performance athletes, weekend warriors, carpenters and others who do repetitive motions, such as typists and addicted texters, are often the most likely to suffer from tendonitis. All of the above information can be found by doing a quick Internet search or a trip to the library. Tendonitis is a symptom of some underlying cause including, but not restricted to, those listed above.
New research has found tendonitis can be a side effect of treatment with quinolones. Quinolones are a group of antibiotics frequently used to treat bacterial infections. Tendonitis usually develops within the first few weeks of antibiotic treatment. The tendon most often affected by quinolones is the Achilles tendon.
Recently I read an article by a doctor stating he suffered from tendonitis after playing a round or two of golf. (He was selling a pill). Would a drug be the best short-term answer if his golf game was on a par with the best in the world? Hmmm. Maybe, his swing, stance or other component not in sync with how the body is made to function would be a better solution, as productive in pain relief and improve his overall game. All sorts of physical activities can cause tendonitis symptoms if the body is working against itself. Other lifestyle choices can also be contributing factors.
Drugs of some type, chemical or natural, seem to be most people’s first choice. But, is adding something better than taking something away? Is eliminating exercise the answer? Not if research is correct. Exercise, within reason and with increased intensity over a long period, has been proven time after time to help relieve pain and increase mobility. Exercise is something done, by most people, maybe two or three times a week. Would a better place to look be something we do three or more times a day and then give serious thought to the main constituents of that activity.
Sugar is the number one addictive substance in most people’s diet. Sugar is processed the same as, but five times more addictive than, heroin. Sugar is an irritant to the digestive tract. A healthy digestive system can eliminate two to four teaspoons of sugar a day. One soda, on average, contains eleven teaspoons of sugar. Poor digestion restricts or eliminates nutrients needed for healthy muscles, bones, tissue and tendons.
Sugar acts the same as an acid or caustic. If raw flesh is placed in a strong sugar solution, it becomes shrunken and brittle due to the abstraction of water. Brittle and shrunken tissue restricts the sheath surrounding tendons causing swelling and inflammation.
The next day while buying more screws, I noticed the employee drinking a giant soda.