Monday, August 31, 2009

Tendon Pain and Exercise

The New York Times blog "Well" had a great article a few days ago titled "Phys Ed: An Easy Fix for Tennis Elbow?" which recommended a treatment for that condition, and had some good information about eccentric muscle contraction exercise.

I will elaborate on the topic of tendinosis versus tendinitis.

Most people will assume a painful tendon has tendinitis, an inflammation injury(the "-itis" part of the word.) Inflammation is typically treated with ice and anti-inflammatory drugs. However a chronic area of tendon or muscle attachment pain is likely to be tendonosis. Tendinosis is a long term condition, possibly from untreated tendinitis, which involves degeneration of tendon tissue. Since tendinosis is not inflammation, inflammation treatments aren't effective.

Unfortunately the article did not mention massage as part of the treatment. While tendinitis, or any inflammation, contraindicates massage, tendinosis does respond well to massage. The direct pressure of massage to the tendon will stimulate the growth of new collagen, and help strengthen and heal the area. Incidentally, this is a big part of clinical "Deep Tissue," which is not just a massage with really strong pressure.

This is the point where I add a disclaimer- I am not a doctor, and the information I offer is not medical advice.

From today's San Francisco Chronicle: "Exercise beats angioplasty for some heart patients" "Studies have shown heart patients benefit from exercise, and some have even shown it works better than surgical procedures." Why am I not surprised?

Some personal workout news: A few months back I mentioned that I starting doing dumbell snatches, a challenging Olympic-style lift. I did a baby 20 pound weight for a month, then slowly worked my way up to 50 lbs. Wow, that's some weight to be heaving overhead with one hand! Now I'm backing down a bit and trying to perfect my technique even more.

Exercise Links
I'm getting more knowledgeable about doing the snatch from the videos on the CrossFit website. Another great exercise site I recommend is BodyTribe Fitness. Both of these emphasis functional, full-body, non-sitting down workouts that I do(or at least attempt.)

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