Who among us has not felt a little twinge or ache at the end of a long day hunched over a keyboard and mouse? Our growing dependence on technology has given rise to another trend: the incidence of overuse injuries has increased over the past 20 years, and this trend is sure to persist as Apple and others continue to release the latest and greatest "must have" gadgets. If you've ever been on the receiving end of a tendonitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist tendonitis diagnosis, read on as TRX Community member Rob B. asks Dr. Perkash about his elbow tendinosis (not be to confused with tendonitis) and what exercise, if any, he can do without pain or discomfort.
I've been diagnosed with tendinosis (versus “itis”) in my elbows from overuse. I've tried ice, heat, electrical current, stretching, massage therapy and prolotherapy, all with no results. The lightest weight aggravates the pain, which goes from dull and aching to sharp and shooting. I just want my arms back. I'm 53 years old now, and I know recovery will be slow, but I rested them for 16 months with no exercise, and even gradual return to curls, etc proved in vain. Can you please help me?
Tendinosis is a term used to describe the anatomic, inflammatory changes that occur in a tendon usually seen on an MRI scan. This simply describes the anatomic changes in a tendon that likely occurred over time, perhaps as a result of normal wear and tear or possibly due to cumulative trauma. Seeing visual findings of tendinosis on an MRI does not inevitably mean that that structure is painful. It can simply mean that a tendon has undergone some normal age-related changes over time, with or without pain.
Treatment should be directed by the specialist and may include medications to reduce pain and inflammation, physical therapy, modalities such as heat, ice, ultrasound, bracing, acupuncture, steroid injections and, in rare cases, surgery. In cases that are resistant to traditional treatments, some patients find pain relief with acupuncture or other alternative treatments. Most patients do find some improvement over time with an appropriate, gradual stretching and strengthening program. The TRX is suitable as a useful tool to contribute towards this usually prolonged rehabilitation effort. Any exercises performed in the setting of a chronic, debilitating injury should be done so under the guidance of a physician specialist and a physical therapist.
I encourage you to follow up with your physician specialist for further guidance regarding your specific condition, for further potential diagnostic work and/or guided treatment options.
Have a question for the TRX Doctor? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on how TRX Suspension Training bodyweight exercise is a safe, scalable and effective solution for you or your patients, visit our Sports Medicine page and download our White Paper.
NOTE: Any medical information in this blog is of a general nature and not a substitute for the advice of a medical professional. If you need medical advice, see a doctor.