Tendons are all over the body and can occur in any part of the body, including wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, and heels. Tendons are thick fibers that join muscle to bone. Tendonitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the tendons.
The most common tendonitis symptom is pain, ranging from mild to severe. Other symptoms include stiffness, swelling, and tenderness.
The tendons in your body start to lose their elasticity around 40 and become more prone to swelling if stressed. Tendonitis is a frequent ailment that affects athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and people with physically demanding occupations. In some cases, an injury or infection can cause tendonitis.
Symptoms of Tendonitis
Symptoms can happen suddenly or gradually. The most common symptoms of tendonitis include the following:
- A dull ache, sharp pain, or burning sensation in the affected area.
- The area around the affected tendon may be swollen and tender to the touch.
- The skin over the affected area may be red and warm to the touch.
- Difficulty moving the affected joint or using the affected muscle.
Treatment for Tendonitis
There are numerous therapeutic alternatives to minimize pain and inflammation. A combination of rest, ice, and over-the-counter painkillers can be used to treat mild tendonitis.
Red light Therapy is another option and it can be used in the comfort of your home, and you can start reducing symptoms almost immediately.
Physical therapy can strengthen the muscles around the tendons if these remedies are insufficient. Chronic tendonitis can be effectively treated with eccentric strengthening, which is accentuating muscle contraction as the muscle lengthens.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged tendons.
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Tendonitis
Red light therapy applies red and near-infrared light wavelengths to human tissue at predetermined doses. Teams of doctors and scientists have continued to research and have now published more than 3,000 scholarly publications on the advantages, effectiveness, and various uses of red light therapy.
Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment with very few side effects that can provide relief from pain, inflammation, and stiffness associated with tendonitis.
Several studies have looked at the use of red light treatment for tendinitis and its effectiveness. Most patients who have had red light therapy treatment have reported significant improvements in their symptoms.
According to a relatively limited trial including seven subjects, red light therapy supported the individuals with Achilles tendinitis with reduced pain and inflammation. This study concluded that red light therapy could treat induced Achilles tendonitis at a dose of 5.4 Joules per point to reduce discomfort. Additionally, this 2016 study found that red light therapy was effective for Achilles tendonitis, with participants reporting improved function.
Red light therapy and tendinopathy were examined in this 2010 study. Tendinopathy and tendonitis are separate issues, but their symptoms are very similar. The collagen protein that creates the tendon breakdown is considered tendinopathy whereas tendonitis is caused by tendon inflammation. The study concluded that red light therapy might help treat tendinopathy when administered at the recommended levels.
Return to play may be the most crucial aspect following an injury for any determined athlete, depending on how quickly the pain, swelling, and acute inflammation are alleviated. This pilot study found that 830 nm LED phototherapy markedly and safely decreased athletes' ability to return to play after enduring a slew of injuries, with no adverse side effects.
In this randomized, double-blind study, before, throughout, and four weeks following the completion of red light therapy treatment, individual pain was assessed subjectively and objectively using a "visual analogue scale and a pain threshold metre."Between the initial evaluation and the third assessment and four weeks following the completion of the treatment, red light therapy exhibited a substantial, beneficial effect compared to placebo. In conclusion, red light therapy was most effective for acute tendinitis.
With the research noted above, it is clear to understand that red light therapy may have applications in treating conditions with an inflammatory component such as tendonitis.
Techniques to Prevent Tendonitis
Most preventative approaches require cutting back on the activities that are provoking tendonitis, performing those tasks correctly, or taking extra time off from them when you feel irritated.
Altering a workout routine to concentrate on different body parts.
Swimming and biking are two low-impact exercises that can help lessen tendinitis.
Lessen the strain on your tendons by stretching after exercise or balancing oneself via lifting appropriately, meaning lifting with your legs, not your back.
An ergonomic setting might be very beneficial if you work at a desk. It entails constructing your chair, monitor, desk, and keyboard to be at eye level with you to encourage better posture. You could also add a small red light therapy unit, such as our Tabletop model, to any workstation.
Red light therapy is an effective treatment for tendonitis. It works by increasing blood flow and helps increase collagen production in the affected area, which can improve the strength and flexibility of the tendons.
It's essential to consult with a qualified practitioner who can tailor the treatment to your individual needs if you are considering red light therapy for tendonitis.
The clinical reviews above offer hope for the anticipated tendonitis brought on by strenuous activity. Red light therapy is more widely available than ever and has several advantages.
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Bjordal JM, Lopes-Martins RA, Iversen VV. A randomized, placebo controlled trial of low level laser therapy for activated Achilles tendinitis with microdialysis measurement of peritendinous prostaglandin E2 concentrations. Br J Sports Med. 2006 Jan;40(1):76-80; discussion 76-80. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2005.020842. PMID: 16371497; PMCID: PMC2491942.
Foley J, Vasily DB, Bradle J, Rudio C, Calderhead RG. 830 nm light-emitting diode (led) phototherapy significantly reduced return-to-play in injured university athletes: a pilot study. Laser Ther. 2016 Mar 31;25(1):35-42. doi: 10.5978/islsm.16-OR-03. PMID: 27141153; PMCID: PMC4846838.
Tumilty S, Mani R, Baxter GD. Photobiomodulation and eccentric exercise for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomized controlled trial. Lasers Med Sci. 2016 Jan;31(1):127-35. doi: 10.1007/s10103-015-1840-4. Epub 2015 Nov 26. PMID: 26610637.
Tumilty S, Munn J, McDonough S, Hurley DA, Basford JR, Baxter GD. Low level laser treatment of tendinopathy: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 Feb;28(1):3-16. doi: 10.1089/pho.2008.2470. PMID: 19708800.