Here's How Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment Can Help Your Tendonitis

If you’ve been diagnosed with tendonitis, you’re seeking relief. Tendons are strong bands of tissue that join muscles to bones. Any type of repetitive movements of your tendons can inflame them, causing tendonitis

If you play tennis, you’re at risk for tendonitis, commonly known as tennis elbow —  inflammation in the tendons that move from the outside of your elbow down your forearm. If you have a warehouse job at which you’re constantly reaching upward, you can get tendonitis in your shoulder where the tendon attaches to the bone. Perhaps you have a jumper's knee, common to basketball players, which is tendonitis located in the tendon near your knee bone. These are examples of some of the places in your body where you can get tendonitis. 

It’s important to receive prompt treatment for an inflamed tendon. If you wait and continue using the affected area, the inflammation worsens, and your recovery takes longer.   

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists at San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, Inc. are highly trained medical professionals who treat patients with musculoskeletal injuries. Your physician performs a clinical examination of the area causing you pain and orders diagnostic tests to determine whether tendonitis is the cause of your discomfort. 

Most cases of tendonitis can be resolved with conservative treatments: rest, ice, and gentle stretches. Your doctor may administer a steroid injection to help calm the inflammation if you’re in severe pain. He may also decide a splint or sling is necessary for a period of time. 

If your pain continues and doesn’t abate after a few months, it’s time to try other treatment. In the past, you may have been looking at surgery, but thanks to modern medical advances, you now have another option for advanced tendonitis: extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT). 

What is extracorporeal shock wave treatment?

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons use low-energy ESWT to help heal the inflammation in your tendon. The treatment uses acoustic waves that cause movement deep in your affected tissue. They travel from the surface of your skin into the tendon, stimulating metabolic activity in fibroblasts, the cells that heal the tissue in your tendon. The therapy activates blood vessels in the damaged area that relay oxygen and other nutrients to promote healing.  

At the same time, ESWT helps relieve pain. The waves disrupt nerve endings in the affected area, and the nerves no longer send the same pain signals to your brain. While ESWT has helped many patients, it may not be effective for everyone

Advantages of ESWT

If your tendonitis doesn’t resolve, ESWT is an attractive option when compared with surgery. 

Noninvasive and low risk

ESWT is noninvasive. No surgery is involved. You don’t have any of the risks involved with surgical procedures. Experts deem ESWT a safe procedure

No downtime 

Surgery always involves downtime from work and normal daily activities. After your ESWT treatments, you can resume your normal routine while continuing to follow your doctor’s instructions about taking care of the affected tendon.  

Call San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, Inc. or use our online portal to schedule an appointment for all of your musculoskeletal needs.

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