Tendinitis is an extremely painful condition that can significantly reduce one’s quality of life. Acute tendinitis sufferers can experience difficulty walking or using their hands for even simple tasks like opening drawers or typing at a computer. Pretty much any activity that stresses the affected area results in pain and discomfort. One promising development in the field of tendinitis treatment has been the use of medical laser therapy to relieve symptoms and promote healing.
The condition is caused by the inflammation of the tendons, which are the connective tissues that link our muscles and bones. This inflammation can result in redness, tenderness and swelling of the affected area, as well as pain whenever the area is exerted. The tendon tissues are easily strained because the blood supply to the area is relatively poor and the tendons consequently also heal much slower.
The condition usually affects the joint areas, such as the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders. Some also experience tendinitis in the arm, thumb or calf. It is most commonly associated with the repetitive use or strain of a muscle. That is why it tends to affect athletes and labourers. In today’s plugged in culture, even computer users who spend long hours repeating the same motions, are not safe from the clutches of this condition.
Traditional and medical treatment methods
There are a number of different treatment options for people who suffer from tendinitis. Some people opt for traditional treatments like acupuncture, massage and herbal medicines or supplements like glucosamine. While many experience relief from pain and an improvement of the symptoms, these traditional options tend to be more effective among those with milder symptoms.
Medical treatment options include anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs and injections. These are often supplemented with physical therapy. In more severe cases surgery is often the last resort.
The laser treatment option
In recent years, many people with acute tendinitis have been opting to go for laser treatment for pain management and improved healing. The basis for laser treatment is that it actually rejuvenates the injured tissue by stimulating the area and accelerating cellular reproduction. Lasers also stimulate vascular activity thus encouraging the supply of oxygen to the area. While it is not yet fully understood exactly how laser treatment works to improve tendinitis symptoms, evidence suggests that laser therapy can encourage more rapid healing and reduce the likelihood of surgery by up to fifty per cent.
Laser treatment is only suited for treating selected areas of the body including the rotator cuff of the shoulder, the inner and outer tendons of the elbow, the arm, wrist and thumb and the knee. It is also popularly used to treat tendinitis of the Achilles which is a tendon in the heel. This condition is commonly called Achilles heel and it is an injury associated with runners and athletes. Laser therapy is popular in treating Achilles tendinitis because traditional treatments and anti-inflammatory medications are not as effective in treating this particular type of tendinitis.
Low-level laser therapy
The medical laser treatment used for tendinitis is Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). This is a non-invasive procedure that makes use of low intensity or low-level lasers. Most other medical laser treatments make use of high intensity or high-level lasers. The treatment process is also relatively painless and quick. Research suggests that LLLT is most effective when used in combination with physical therapy exercises especially in cases of Achilles tendinitis.
If you suffer from acute tendinitis, LLLT is definitely a treatment option that you should consider. It promises an effective solution to all the problems associated with the condition and can potentially give you a better quality of life.
[Photo by shoe the Linux Librarian]