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What Are the Benefits of Physiotherapy for Tendonitis?

A physiotherapy session.
Physiotherapy for tendonitis helps patients regain mobility.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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Benefits of physiotherapy for tendonitis include regaining mobility and finding relief from inflammation and pain. A physical therapist may teach patients how to manage the condition through exercise techniques and proper work habits. Most experts believe tendonitis is often caused by repetitive motion strain and overuse of the joints. Physiotherapy for tendonitis often involves teaching techniques that can reduce stress on joints. In addition to demonstrating strengthening exercises, many physical therapists will teach the importance of good ergonomics in the workplace or at home.

Tendonitis is a very painful condition often afflicting tendons of the elbow, shoulder, hips, or knee. It is believed to be caused by repetitive use of a joint. Symptoms include chronic or recurring pain, inflammation, numbness, and immobility of the affected area.

Someone who develops rotator cuff shoulder tendonitis may find it difficult to raise his arms above his head. Physiotherapy for tendonitis of the shoulder is designed to strengthen the rotator cuff, improve circulation, and restore blood flow to the affected area. As a result, the individual may experience freer movement and less pain.

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Physiotherapy for tendonitis of any kind often involves educating the patient. Typically, he will be taught by a physical therapist how to prevent further injury to the area. He will also be shown what methods to attempt to heal the injured part. Some methods of treatment might include the use of heat or ice, or both treatments alternately. Since many cases of tendonitis occur from work-related injuries, the therapist may teach how proper ergonomics may reduce strain.

Another advantage of participating in physiotherapy for tendonitis is gaining access to special exercise equipment. One useful piece of equipment is known as an upper body ergometer (UBE). The UBE is especially helpful for those with shoulder tendonitis. This machine has variable resistance and can help strengthen the shoulders and improve mobility.

Manual manipulation is another aspect of physiotherapy for tendonitis. This may include massage therapy or acupuncture for patients with joint and tendon inflammation. In addition, many therapists use ultrasound as a treatment for tendonitis. This involves using a series of high-frequency sound waves to stimulate inflamed tissue and help reduce inflammation.

Many patients who have had surgery to repair torn tendons require post-operative rehabilitation. In participating in physiotherapy for tendonitis, the individual will learn how to retrain his joints and muscles to functional capacity. He may also be shown ways to manage pain without the use of medication.

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