A tendon is a flexible band of fibrous tissue. It connects muscles to bones and plays its part in the pull of muscle to move a joint. The Achilles tendon is a large tendon. Tendonitis simply means that a tendon has become inflamed. Typically this will affect hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, or feet. It is most often the result of a repetitive injury or exaggerated motion in the affected area, and is more common with age when tendons become less flexible and more prone to injury. Certain occupations may be at higher risk including carpenters, gardeners, musicians, and athletes. These groups perform activities that require repetitive motions and place stress on joints. Sometimes an infection, arthritis, gout, thyroid disease, and diabetes can also bring about inflammation. In the acute phase, ice packs and rest are combined with painkillers. Chronic problems are better treated with physiotherapy and ultrasound. Bowen therapy can provide rapid relief of symptoms and a fast return to normal function.
Foods & herbs for the home
- Turmeric is a cheap and easily available herb that has a respected use as an anti-inflammatory spice. If you live near an Asian supermarket you can buy it fresh. Peel the root and dip it into a little mineral sea salt and eat it several times a day. Otherwise add Organic Turmeric Powder to a salt shaker and add it freely to other foods before serving. Remember that turmeric will temporarily stain skin and clothes.
- Garlic has anti-inflammatory effects. It is especially effective at mopping up free radicals, an excess of which contributes to inflammation. You can download Jill Davies' book on Garlic for free.
- Avoid dehydration and drink plenty of water in order to ensure "well-gliding" joint surfaces.
- Essential fatty acids have an excellent reputation as anti-inflammatory agents. For those who are not vegetarian/vegan, a good quality fish oil supplement to provide the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may be particularly beneficial; ask your health food store to recommend one. For vegetarians and vegans, look for a vegan omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acid supplement that contains GLA from evening primrose or starflower oil. Use a cold-pressed flax seed oil on foods for the extra omega 3 – this is particularly important for those who cannot take fish oil.
- Massage may bring relief to painful joints. St John’s Wort Oil is anti-inflammatory and can be gently worked into the affected areas several times a day, especially when tendonitis flares up.
- Deep Muscle Oil will stimulate local circulation and is useful for gentle massage when the initial inflammation (with heat, pain and swelling) has reduced.
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