Tendonitis is straining of the portion of the muscle that is closer to the bone. As muscles approach bone they need to be more ligamentous in nature to allow for the great amount of force neede to hold that muscle on the bone. If you look at a chicken leg, the ligemnts and cartilagenous material around the socket joint there are many tendons and ligaments. The difference between the two really is size and flexibility, as tendons have more elastin and tend to be flexible bouncy structures while ligaments hold muscles and tendons to the bone. And to understand the great force needed to hold structures stable in the body, if you look at the bones of any animal and where the ligaments and tendons attch, you will see the bone being pulled to the contour of the ligament, and this is precisely how many of the bony processes get made.
Tendonitis is not a problem if it is just the one time after playing tennis or too much video gaming, but if the action that is causeing the muscle to strain and the tendon beyond that is repeated ad naseum, then repetitive stress factors make vascularization and feeding the muscle/tendon/ligament difficult. How can blood seep into the muscle/tendon if it is seized with strain.
A one time irritation of the muscles and tendons can come and go, but constant irritation is a bane to the body and keeps it from healing itself in other areas. Chronic tendonitis may take months to correct, but left unchecked can lead to joint problems locally. If you have tendonitis of the shoulder muscles, then rotator cuff problems could ensue, Forearm tendonitis leads to “carpal tunnel syndrome” (see earlier post on CTS), elbow tendonitis lead to elbow problems. etc.
Chances are you have some muscles that are experiencing tendonitis, but you don’t know that until they become strained with pain. There is a reason that the ancient Greeks massaged themselves with body oils before and after battle. They knew that to keep muscles flexible, constant maintenance is needed, so why is it that getting a massage is seen a decadent and wasteful expense, when it is seen as an occupation necessity in other countries. Asian nations do a lot of massage, not just the happy ending type, and getting a massage is seen as part of everyday lives, like going to the supermarket.
In future posts I will give some techniques that can help the chronic tendonitis patient, but for now go see your chiropractor.