Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon in your body. Your tendons connect your muscles to the bones that they move, and so inflammation of a tendon often causes a great deal of pain when you then try to move the associated muscle. Along with the pain, symptoms of tendonitis usually include some stiffness, and it is also possible that you will feel a burning sensation around the joint associated with the tendon, as well as some swelling and redness. Chronic (long-term) tendonitis is referred to as ‘tendonosis’.
Your arms and legs are more likely to suffer from tendon injury as opposed to the tendons associated with your hips and torso. The type of tendonitis you suffer from will depend highly on the activity you most often engage in. For example, someone who plays basketball is more likely to suffer from tendonitis in their knee due to the increased amount of running and jumping involved in the sport.
The first step for treatment of tendonitis with a chiropractor is for a proper diagnosis to be made. Accuracy in diagnosis is most important for ruling out other possible causes of pain, stiffness, swelling and so on. You may be asked to get an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI to assist with the diagnosis. After a proper diagnosis has been achieved, your chiropractor can begin to develop a proper treatment plan. Initially, this plan may involve some stabilization of the injured area to prevent further injury, so be prepared to keep the inflamed tendon protected by keeping it immobile for an extended period of time.
Your chiropractor’s ability to treat your tendonitis will largely depend on the severity of your injury and how acute (short-term) or chronic the inflammation. An acute concern may be treated within a few weeks, whereas a chronic injury may only see some relief from pain after a few weeks but may need at least a few more weeks of treatment for proper healing to take place. Naturally, a more chronic injury will require more treatment and will likely involve the treatment of associated areas as well, as further injury because of compensation may have occurred. For example, a chronic wrist injury may also necessitate the treatment of your elbow and shoulder, and possibly also your upper back as well. Injuries to these areas of your body may have happened over time as a result of simply moving your upper body differently to protect the injured wrist.
The specific work that your chiropractor will perform will of course depend on the precise injury, but you can assume that re-alignment of bones is likely a part of the process. Soft tissue injury that coincides with the tendonitis may have occurred, and your chiropractor should be able to also deal with any scar tissue present that may be acting in the way of the healing process.