Tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis and rotator cuff tendinopathy are common injuries that can plague a tennis player. The last thing an athlete wants to hear is, “You must rest and stop playing tennis.” Soft tissue injuries can be painful, limiting conditions that are slow to heal, which is particularly challenging to a tennis player who wants to get back in the game.
Many athletes seek advice from primary care and sports medicine physicians when they have tendon pain and then are often offered anti-inflammatories, injections, and told to rest. Typically, this common regimen only offers temporary relief and may not be the best method to heal a tendinopathy. Astym therapy targets the underlying cause of many soft tissue problems, rather than just trying to relieve symptoms. It is unmatched in its ability to resolve tendinopathies, and often works even after other approaches fail.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TENDINOPATHY, TENDINITIS AND TENDINOSIS?
The word “tendinopathy” actually means “disease of a tendon,” and is a broader term for two conditions known as “tendinosis,” or degenerative tendinopathy, and “tendinitis,” or acute, inflammatory tendinopathy. Although “tendonitis” is used often, most cases of tendinopathy are not associated with significant inflammation and thus don’t respond well to anti-inflammatory medications.
WHAT CAUSES TENDINOPATHY?
Tendinopathy can be caused by overuse or improper loading of the muscle-tendon unit. It can also be caused by degeneration of soft tissues due to injury, age or other reasons. Repetitive strain on a tendon may cause tiny tears that accumulate over time. These tears may result in pain and can eventually change the structure of the tendon resulting in acute inflammation and/or degeneration that can lead to pain, tissue adhesions, movement impairment and eventually loss of function.
HOW PHYSICAL THERAPISTS HELP HEAL TENDINOPATHY (TENNIS ELBOW)
ADDRESS THE CAUSE
- Astym therapy addresses the underlying cause of tendinopathy and other soft tissue problems by engaging the body to regenerate healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminating unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions.
- Correct poor footwear
- Assess or change equipment, for example choosing a racquet with a larger sweet spot will help reduce load on the arm.
- Correct stroke mechanics, for example bending knees at least 10 degrees during the service motion will lessen the load on the shoulders and elbows.
- Identify proper training loads and recovery to avoid overuse injuries.
- Incorporate proper warm-up or cool-down for tennis.
- Develop a balanced training program for tennis to include stretching, strengthening, speed, core stability, agility, balance and coordination.
WHY ASTYM THERAPY IS SO SUCCESSFUL
Astym therapy, evidenced to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body and promote the healing of soft tissues, has repeatedly been shown safe and effective in controlled clinical trials, clinical study, and large population outcomes data. A new approach to soft tissue treatment, Astym therapy resulted from a large, groundbreaking research endeavor supported by major hospitals and universities. It is used in settings ranging from therapy clinics to hospitals to industrial rehabilitation to elite/professional athletics, and has been proven to be more effective than other available treatments.
Astym-certification is advanced training and not everyone is qualified to perform this higher level of care. In order to become Astym-certified, a clinician must undergo intensive training and testing. Doctors often prescribe Astym therapy for their patients because it is safe, high quality care that has been proven to be effective.
If you are having tennis elbow issues – we can treat that! Mark Slaughter is an Astym certified clinician and will be happy to address your issues. Contact our office today to learn more!