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What are the Different Types of Tendon Rehabilitation?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are various types of tendon rehabilitation that can treat tendon injuries. Which type is required depends on the area that is affected and what form of tendon injury is present. Some of the standard tendon rehabilitation treatments include use of heat and ice, as well as physical therapy. Therapy may also include flexibility exercises and endurance conditioning. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed as part of the rehabilitation.

When a person injures his tendon, there generally will be pain, either localized or widespread. An injury or disease that requires tendon rehabilitation may be acute, recurring, or chronic. The tendons surrounding muscles connect these tissues to the bone. When injured or inflamed, mobility may be greatly reduced, therefore tendon rehabilitation may be necessary and prescribed by a physician.

In the case of tendinitis, rehabilitation may require stretching exercises at the beginning of a therapy program. Shoulder tendinitis is a common affliction, generally caused by age or repetitive-motion stress. It is characterized by pain, inflammation, and a reduction of mobility or flexibility to the joint. Sometimes the shoulder rotator cuff is also involved. Physical therapy programs are designed to decrease the inflammation and pain and restore flexibility.

With a shoulder tendon injury, the rehabilitation will also typically require at-home treatment that may include various exercises. Occasionally, the use of an arm cycle or ergonomics machine known as a upper body ergometer at a rehabilitation center may be employed. This generally is designed to increase mobility and range of motion.

Other range-of-motion exercises will typically be incorporated as well. This may include arm rolls, neck bends, and shoulder shrugs. Pulleys and exercise balls may also be utilized. The physical therapist may also recommend the use of ice to reduce swelling. This may be alternated with hot and cold treatments.

There are various tendon and ligament injuries that may require different rehabilitation. Heat treatments may be used for some areas, such as the thigh or back. With tendon rehabilitation involving the leg or thigh, a treadmill or stationary bike may be used to help strengthen muscles of the affected leg. Stair climbing may also be recommended in the advanced stages of treatment.

Many athletes suffer foot injuries that require tendon rehabilitation. Achilles tendon injuries may be treated by complete rest at the onset of symptoms. Carefully stretching the foot muscles under close supervision of a therapist is another course of treatment. Inserts for the patient's shoes may also help and be another crucial aspect of recovery in a tendon rehabilitation program.

In most any case of tendon injury, tendon rehabilitation should be done under a doctor's care and in conjunction with a physical therapist if necessary. It is advised not to begin any regimen of treatment or therapy without consulting a physician. This is meant as a precaution to minimize the risk of further injury.

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