Tendonitis is the inflammation and swelling of a tendon after an injury. It can cause joint pain, stiffness and also affect how the tendon moves.
There are tendons all over your body. They connect your muscles to bones in your joints, for example, in your knees, elbows and shoulders.
The main symptoms of tendonitis are:
- Pain in a tendon that gets worse when you move
- Difficulty moving the joint
- Feeling a grating or crackling sensation when you move the tendon
- Swelling, sometimes with heat or redness.
Tendonitis can be classified as acute or chronic depending upon the cause and length of time it has continued. Standard treatment involves rest, ice packs and support bandages, along with the use of pain killers if needed.
According to Chinese medicine theory, the tendons are controlled by the Liver. Therefore, if the Liver is nourished when weak or damaged, the tendons will get stronger. However, even someone with a very strong Liver can sustain a tendon injury through a sporting or non-sporting injury, or continued repetitive movement.
In such cases a Chinese Medicine practitioner will administer acupuncture to improve the circulation of Qi and Blood to the injured area. This will help to nourish the tendons and surrounding soft tissues, as well as help to relieve inflammation and reduce pain.
Chinese medicinal herbs can also be used to clear the Cold and Damp which cause swollen tendons in people with chronic arthritis. One of the main herbs used is Du Zhong (Cortex Eucommiae), along with Huang Qi (Radix Astragali), Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong) and Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis).
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