Tendons are fibrous bundles connecting muscles to the bones; their function is to enable bones to move following muscle contraction.
Tendinitis occurs when an inflammatory process involves one or more of the almost 300 tendons present in our organism (healthy tendins are rarely affected by acute inflammations from overwork and in such case it is the muscles or bones to suffer harm). This type of inflammation is caused by overfatigue, microtraumas, and continuous micro-stresses experienced by tendons and that harm the fibres they are made of.
Even if tissues tend to restore damaged parts, the integrity and elasticity of the original tendon is no longer restored and is therefore less resistant to continuous motor stimuli, particularly if blood flow is scarce. Causes of tendinitis can be: heightened frequency and intensity of training, overtraining, inadequate clothing and footwear, running on uneven or particularly hard terrain, or slippery or too soft terrains such as sand, incorrect technical execution of an exercise, imbalance between muscular strength and tendon resistance (frequent in those taking anabolic steroids), local injections of corticosteroids, lack of general and specific warm-up, resuming training too quickly after accidents, postural defects.
Systemic pathologies, however, can also be involved in the root causes for this disorder: for instance, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, gout, hypercholesterolemia or renal failure; congenital factors such as dysmetria of the limbs, defects regarding axiality (anomalies in physiological curves of the rachis, valgus deformity or knee varus, articular conflicts, etc.), ageing (around 30-35, tendons lose tonicity and vascularization), as well as hormonal variations.
The typical symptom signalling tendinitis is acute pain close to the anatomical area where the inflamed tendon is located, particularly following a movement involving excessive strain. If the tendon suffers a lesion to the point that it is completely fractured, swelling and bruising can appear. Morever, swelling is also possible if the inflammation extends to the tendon sheaths.
Anatomical districts most affected by tendinitis are the shoulders, elbows (epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”), wrists, hands, knees, ankles (Achilles tendon) and feet.
Epicondylitis or “tennis elbow” is a form of degenerative-inflammatory tendinitis affecting the epicondyle muscles (extensor muscles of the forearm), inserted in the elbow bone (epicondyle). It triggers as a result of repeated and intense movements typical of tennis players (but also relevant to golf, baseball, fencing and swimming, though more rarely in the case of swimming in particular), of workers who put too much strain on this specific joint (bricklayers, painters, etc.) but also due to physiological wear and tear: as a matter of fact, it does not appear before the age of 35. Symptoms are localized, very intense pain and weakness also in lifting small objects.
Treatment of tendinitis with conventional medicine
In case of tendinitis, conventional medicine resorts to anti-inflammatory medicines, administered in the form of topical applications (creams, gel, bandages soaked in a farmacological solution), as well as tablets, granulated products and even local injections in the most serious cases. Even though useful in providing relief from pain, anti-inflammatory medicines are, however, responsible for a long series of secondary effects, all the more serious according to the length of intake period.
Such side effects are essentially linked to the fact that the anti-inflammatory activity is carried out owing to a sole active principle which, not being selective, in addition to promoting the primary pharmacological activity (by reducing inflammation and pain), ends up altering several physiological mechanisms, leading to countless secondary activities. Among these medicines it is possible to identify two big groups: steroidal anti-inflammatories (cortisone-based medicines) and non steroidal anti-inflammatories, better known as “NSAIMs” (an acronym standing for Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medicines).
Among side-effects of cortisone-based medicines, which are very strong anti-inflammatories with immunosuppresant activities: in low dosages, glaucoma, intracranial hypertension, bowel perforation, gastric ulcer, gastric hemorrhage; at medium dosages: myopathy, increased blood pressure, diabetes, cataract; at high dosages, hyperglycemia, water retention, weight gain, growth retardation, osteoporosis, gastric ulcer and reduced immune defenses. Alternatively, patients resort to non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs, an acronym standing for Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medicines), for instance those containing active principles such as acetyl salicylic acid, ketoprofen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, nimesulide, etc., widely recommended medicines that act by inhibiting synthesis of chemical mediators called “prostaglandins”: such action is at the origin of both pharmacological activity as well as of numerous side-effects.
To comprehend just how this is possible it must be borne in mind that prostaglandins carry out multiple organic functions: there are, in fact, “bad” prostaglandins (though it is not technically correct to call them this way) as they cause the insurgence of inflammation, hyperalgesia, fever; but there are also “good” prostaglandins, carrying out multiple physiological activities: they promote protection of the stomach from gastric juices, they regulate renal blood flow, uterine contractions, platelet activity, etc.
That being said, it is clear that use of so-called NSAIMs, often turning into an “abuse” given their being easy to retrieve, is inevitably connected to several side-effects. Examples thereof are: inhibition of gastric protection, with consequences ranging from simple irritations to lesions, ulcera and gastrointestinal hemorrhage, inhibition of platelet aggregation, renal ischaemia, generic nephropathy and renal failure, etc.
This is why it is important to have available a valid, natural alternative, capable of providing relief in case of painful symptoms and rigidity connected to the problem of tendinitis, while being totally free from side-effects.
Nature can help you in case of tendinitis