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ESWT Used to Treat Several Types of Tendonitis

By Vicki Hyman
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
article from Newark Star-Ledger

Tendons are strands of fibrous tissue that connect muscle to bone. They can become inflamed by overstretching or small, repeated stresses.

Most tendon problems can be treated with rest, ice and stretching, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. If pain persists, a doctor may recommend orthotics (shoe inserts), cortisone shots or a splint or walking cast. For those patients whose pain persists after six months of conventional treatment, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy may be an option.

ESWT has been used successfully to treat several common forms of tendonitis, including:

Plantar fasciitis (also called heel spurs):

Inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. It is more likely to occur if you are overweight, if you walk a lot or stand on hard surfaces, if you walk or run for exercise or if you have very flat feet or very high arches.

The condition starts gradually with mild pain. Without treatment, it can become more severe, with acute pain in the first steps after waking and after exercise.

Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow):

Degeneration of the tendon that attaches the outer side of the elbow to the muscles that extend or lift the wrist and hand. It is occurs with repetitive use of the forearm muscles, so it strikes workers as well as athletes.

The pain can progress to a severe, burning feeling on the outside of the elbow and is exacerbated by gripping or lifting even very light objects. The pain can radiate to the forearm.

Achilles tendonitis:

Inflammation of the tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles. The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest in the human body, and also the one most frequently ruptured.

Achilles tendonitis can be brought on by runners who rapidly increase their mileage or speed and exercisers who add hill running or stair climbing to their routine. The pain starts off mildly and gradually worsens. Sufferers can feel tenderness in the lower leg in the morning, stiffness and swelling.

Patellar tendonitis (jumper's knee):

Inflammation of the tendon that connects the quadriceps muscles to the shin bone. It is more common among athletes who jump, including basketball and volleyball players.

The pain, just below the kneecap, is often sudden, occurring just after working out, landing from a jump or going up or down stairs.

Supraspinatus tendonitis (rotator cuff tendonitis):

Inflammation of the tendon that connects the upper bone of the arm to the shoulder.

Symptoms include shoulder pain, especially with movement and at night, weakness in the arm and shoulder, and a snapping sensation in the shoulder with movement tenderness.

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