A Tale of Two (or More) Tendons
By Sara Butler
Tendons – everyone has them! They actually do a lot for you, but you may never notice them until there’s a problem. That nagging pain in your heel? Probably a tendon. That pain in your groin after the soccer game? Tendon! Sore elbow when you hit the tennis ball? You guessed it – tendon!
Tendon injuries can be frustrating, but with the help of your chiropractor you can recover and be back out enjoying life again before you know it. Here’s what you need to know about your tendons, how to care for them and how your chiropractor can help!
What the Heck is a Tendon?
Your muscles are connected to your bones by your tendons. They transfer the energy created by your muscles to your bones in order to make you move. Needless to say, they’re pretty handy.
You can think about your tendons like they are an elastic band. They function great when they’re stretched out in the direction the fibers run, but not so great at stretching in other directions. You generally injure your tendons when you put too much force on them, even if they’re being stretched in the right direction. If they’re stretched in the wrong direction with force – that can make for a painful injury!
Most of the time, an injury occurs where the tendon meets the bone. The tendon doesn’t have great blood supply at this point, which means it can take a while for these injuries to heal. Lucky for you, there are steps you can take to help you prevent tendon injuries in the first place.
Of course the best defense is a good offense, and when you’re talking about defending your tendons you should be taking steps to keep an injury from occurring at all. You can:
- Good training practices – If you’re really active, you should make sure you have a good training plan in place. This is especially true in endurance sports where the very nature of the sport makes injuries to the Achilles, hamstring, patella or gluteal tendons very common. Discuss a good training plan with your chiropractor that can keep your tendons and joints healthy.
- Get some rest – Fatigued muscles aren’t able to absorb the stress of an activity, and all that pressure will transfer to your tendons and leave you open to injury. Rest between exercise sessions.
- Strength training – You need a well-rounded strength training program to help build up your muscle strength.
- Stretching exercises – Flexibility is key to avoiding injuries to your tendons because it allows the pressure to be spread out to various parts of the tendon instead of concentrated in one area.
Your chiropractor is a great resource to utilize in order to find out how you can avoid injury to your joints and tendons. Plus, when your joints are aligned correctly and everything is working as it should, your chance of injury is dramatically reduced.
Discuss this and more with your chiropractor during your next visit to The Joint Chiropractic!