Tendon tissue is a fibrous flexible connective tissue between your muscles and bones, providing the means and strength to move your bones. The tendon transfers the energy produced by the contracted muscle. Most tendon injuries are repetitive strain injuries that require a stoppage in the activities that aggravate the tendon. This sounds like common sense but many people work through their pain in the hopes that time will heal the injury. Especially for a tendon, this is not the case; rest is imperative. Other than repetitive strain an aging body is a common cause of tendonitis and tendon related conditions. The reason for this is not well known but it could be related to decreasing blood and nutrient supply from changes in the aging blood vessels.
The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In order to accomplish this rest and immobilization is a must. To control pain in the initial stages of the injury the application of cold therapy can help slow blood flow. The deep cold provided by a cold compression wrap slows cell function thereby reducing cellular break-down. Furthermore, because cold wraps serve to numb the nerves the wraps also reduce pain!
Healing quickly is very important to avoiding re-injury and preventing scar tissue build up. In order to maintain full range of motion it is important to limit the formation of scar tissue as much as possible. Constant re-injury and healing causes the build up of scar tissue which seriously and permanently impairs your tendon. Scar tissue build up leads to a life long loss of flexibility in the area and an increased chance of re-injury. Simply, stiffness equals pain and pain equals stiffness. If you don’t heal your tendon quickly and with minimal scar tissue, it will plague you for life.