Does Massage Help Tendonitis? | Symptoms | Treatment - Zarifa USA

July 22, 2020 4 min read

Massage therapyis proven to be a great alternative to traditional pain management. For many people suffering from tendonitis, it can be a huge help with pain relief and can also speed up the recovery process. Since tendonitis can take weeks to heal, using massage therapy to relax and strengthen the inflamed tendon can give the person a much better chance of a full and speedy recovery.

What exactly is tendonitis?

Tendons are bands of very strong connective tissue in the body that attach muscles to bones. Tendonitis happens when a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Someone suffering from tendonitis will typically feel it in their major tendons, like those in the neck, elbows, biceps, wrists, knees, or Achilles.

Inflammation of a tendon is most often caused by overuse. For instance, when a tennis player regularly uses their arms to hit the ball, they can develop tendonitis in their shoulders, elbows and wrists. Overuse causes the tendon to strain repeatedly until tiny tears form. Other causes of tendonitis can include heavy weightlifting, improper form when exercising, inadequate recovery time between workouts, and specific anatomical issues like calcium deposits that form around a tendon or an abnormal joint or bone.

Symptoms of Tendonitis may include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stiffness or restricted mobility
  • Swelling around the affected area
  • Warmth of the skin around the affected area
  • A grating sensation as the tendon moves.

How does massage help manage tendonitis?

Treatment for tendonitis typically includes rest, icing, discontinuation of any heavy lifting or movement that caused the pain and tenderness in the first place, as well as the use of anti-inflammatory medications.

In conjunction with these traditional treatments, massage therapy is also becoming a common and highly effective mode of treatment for tendonitis. The act of massage targets and works the injured tendon fibers and surrounding muscle tissue which loosens muscles, and boosts blood circulation and healthy collagen in and around the problem area.

Chronic tendonitis can greatly affect a person’s movement and range of motion and comfort and quality of life, which can lead to increased stress and depression. Massage therapy can not only help relieve the physical pain that comes with tendonitis, but it can also help to reduce any emotional distress by relaxing and calming a person’s nervous system and encouraging the release of feel-good hormones. There are a variety of types of massage available, but the best ones for tendonitis include the following:

Sports massage

Sports massage therapy is a highly effective way of managing and treating the pain caused by tendonitis. It is ideal for those experiencing tendonitis in the heel or Achilles specifically. Sports massage combines several different forms of massage and muscle manipulation to stretch and stimulate the muscles. By applying sustained pressure and friction to the tendon, sports massage can treat tendonitis and improve pain and mobility.

Deep transverse friction massage (DTFM)

With a DTFM massage, a qualified massage therapist uses short back and forth motions with their fingers around the affected area, rather than over it. This is a soft tissue management treatment, and this type of active release technique is used to repair scarred tissue and abrasions and restore mobility.

Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massagemay be one of the best massage techniques for treating and alleviating tendonitis. It treats chronic pain by combining firm pressure and slow strokes to reach the deep layers of muscle and fascia. This technique is used to enhance circulation and break up scar tissue, which can also reduce swelling as well as relieve pain.

Instead of getting traditional massage therapy regularly with a massage therapist, you can use a handheld massage gun from the comfort of your own home. These are used by everyone from professional athletes to recreational gym-goers, and those with chronic pain love these powerful massagers for many reasons. Percussive therapy can help muscles recover faster, reduce muscle fatigue and the build-up of lactic acid, improve range of motion and flexibility, alleviate pain, encourage blood flow, and help with muscle stiffness and more.

When you use a massage gun correctly, it can even help with stress and sleep. The convenient portable massage gun is especially great for targeting parts of your body that are traditionally left out of regular massage therapy, like your elbows, lats, and hips. With the deep tissue massage gun, you can work any area on your body that needs attention, even those that are hard to reach

When you are suffering from tendonitis, massage guns can help you speed up your recovery and improve healing by improving circulation. Of course, the use of a massage gun should not be the primary or only treatment you use to recover, but it can provide significant assistance in your overall recovery and rehabilitation plan when used in tandem with a massage therapist.

How to find the right massage therapist for tendonitis

If your tendonitis is chronic or persistent, you could benefit from massage therapy. But you must be careful: it’s best to avoid booking a massage or using a massage gun within 48 hours after the initial onset of the injury, as this could make your condition worse. It’s also important to remember that massage therapy should be used in conjunction with traditional treatments for tendonitis. You will achieve the best results with a combined pain management program of rest, pain-relieving medicine, icing, massage therapy.

Finding the right massage therapist to treat your tendonitis requires research. You need to find a therapist that’s qualified in massage therapy, as well as a professional that has expertise in the field of sports massage therapy or dealing with injuries. A qualified massage therapist should start by discussing treatment goals and also create an ongoing treatment program to help you increase strength and range of motion in the affected tendon, ensure you avoid any further injury and inflammation. A qualified massage therapist has education and knowledge of the right massage techniques to treat tendonitis, as well as the ability to develop a pain management program for your long-term health and wellbeing.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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