05 Mar Tendon loading
At a recent conference we attended on the management of tendon injuries, it was clear how poorly tendon injuries are treated in the community. The worst thing you can do for a tendon is REST!
A tendon is the tissue that connects muscle belly to bone. The main tendons we deal with at Enhance Physiotherapy are the Achilles tendon, patella tendon, rotator cuff tendon, and extensor tendon (tennis elbow). Each one of these tendons behaves differently, so the rehabilitation MUST be individualised for the patient…and the tendon!!
What seems to work best in the early stages of the rehab is what is called isometrics. These are muscle contractions, which subsequently loads the tendon, without any movement (static contractions). The optimal way is to hold the contraction for 45 seconds, 5 repetitions with 2 minutes rest in-between. The load must be heavy and be a struggle to hold for the entire 45 seconds. If you have a true tendon injury, you should get some pain relief after completing this exercises by about 50%. Isometrics are often called the ‘tendon panadol’. If you’re pain has increased a thorough assessment is required as most likely, your therapist has misdiagnosed you as a tendon pain – which we see on a regular basis at Enhance Physiotherapy.
At Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga, we are the tendon experts! We have completed further training, and rehab tendon injuries through the Australian Defence Force (the most common site of tendon injuries in Australia!).