Whether you’re an active athlete or a couch potato, you’re not immune to developing tendonitis, a condition that contributes to the 38 million musculoskeletal injuries reported by Americans annually. Tendonitis is the painful inflammation of an injured tendon, the thick, fibrous tissues that connect our muscles to bone. What can cause tendonitis, why is it difficult to heal, and how might Synergy Naples’ Massage Therapy be the answer?
Tendons are thick cords of dense tissues that actually form inside the muscles, where they first separate bundles of muscle fibers. As they grow out of the muscle, they connect muscle to bone. While they have some flexibility to support motion, they are unlike muscle in that we don’t really want to “stretch” them.
Tendonitis will usually occur just outside of a joint, where small tears, ruptures, or other injuries will cause swelling, pain, and reduced mobility. As we age, these tissues can become even more prone to injury because we produce less lubricating fluid.
Why is Tendonitis Hard to Heal?
Healing a tendon is a slow process, sometimes taking months or even years.
“It comes down to cellular turnover and blood flow. In 2013, Danish researchers at the University of Copenhagen concluded that tendons experience very little renewal—meaning that in many cases, the “building blocks” that make up your tendons at seventeen years old are virtually the same as at age 50,” says Dr. Stephanie Ahasic of Synergy Health in Naples.
“Because there is so little turnover in the tissues, it’s as if the repair process is dormant.,” she explains.
Another challenge for effective repair of tendons is that they have very poor blood flow. Since tendons mostly rely on lubricating joint fluid for nourishment, it can be difficult to get the nutrients needed for repair, especially when pain and inflammation limit movement and lymph removal.
How Massage Therapy Helps
The pain and inflammation that result from a tendon injury can limit activity, and as part of the healing process, it’s recommended that intense or repetitive movements be limited to rest the tendon. Unfortunately, limited movement can result in tighter muscles that pull on the tendons, less blood flow to bring nutrients and remove inflammatory waste at the injury, and can even contribute to the development of adhesions, which are bands of scar-like tissue that cause tissues to “stick” together. Synergy Health’s Therapeutic Massage is a fantastic modality that can help stimulate healing of an injury in a number of ways:
- Massage of the surrounding skin and muscle will improve blood flow to the area.
- Therapeutic massage not only increases the body’s delivery of pain-reducing hormones, it also decreases swelling by moving inflammatory lymph back into the blood to be removed.
- Massage will help to loosen tightened muscles which could be pulling on the sore tendons, and break up scar tissue that may limit range of motion.
- Different methods of massage can improve collagen production and activate trigger points.
Invest in Your Wellness!
If healing from your tendonitis injury has slowed, therapeutic massage could invite some invigorating movement and energy into the surrounding tissues, improving blood flow and range of motion. Our skilled therapists will work together with our team of experts to determine which methods will best aid in your pain relief and healing. Call Synergy Health today to learn more about why we’ve been voted the best massage therapy office in Collier County!