Recently I had the unfortunate opportunity to experience this problem called tendonitis. It is a problem that can severely diminish one’s progress in the gym, if not treated properly. Not only that but poor treatment of tendonitis, can lead to further damage of the tendons and sometimes surgery. Fortunately for me, I was able to assess the situation quickly and take the correct precautions and treatment measures, to allow me to heal properly.
As a bodybuilder or weightlifter, you will come across such injuries like tendonitis but it’s always a better method to use preventable measures rather than reactive measures. Despite that, if you do develop tendonitis, this article will assist in helping you getting down the path to full recovery, while also being able continue your training at the gym.
Tendonitis is simply, the inflammation of the tendon. This is due to an injury that has occurred and the body’s healing process taking in effect. It can come from improperly performing an exercise without correct form, or from the mere fact that one’s tendons do not recover or adapt as quickly, as their muscles in regards to weight training. So as your muscles grow and adapt to the increased strain placed on them, your tendons and ligaments, are not developing at the same speed. This means that they are always going to be on extra strain while performing an exercise, than the muscles themselves. This is pretty dangerous because it’s an opportunity for injury to occur, even while taking precautions. So this is why it is good to know of the precautions to take but the reactive measures one can use when facing such a bump in their road to physical development.
To reduce the chances of developing tendonitis, one would want to warm up properly before engaging in any type of physical activity. Make sure to do about 2-3 warm up sets, before performing an exercise, or use one of the exercises in your routine as your warm up exercise. Proper warm up, helps to drive blood towards the muscles, allowing the tightness and support that is needed to assist with the heavy lifting. Also, stretching before and after training, helps to relieve tension on the tendons. If pain is experienced while performing an exercise, stopping the exercise is recommended and using another exercise that doesn’t produce the pain, to develop that same muscle group.
Now, if you do develop tendonitis, the best bet is to let that body part rest. Do not do any exercises that directly stimulate that muscle group. If it’s a tendonitis in the arm, no direct bicep workouts should be done. Depending on the severity of the tendonitis, any exercises that even incorporates the supporting muscle that has the tendonitis attached to it, should be eliminated. So yet again, if you have the tendonitis in the arm, and you’ve already eliminated direct biceps training but pain is still there from pulling exercises, removing back routines from your training session is necessary.
Along with this removal of the workouts that irritate the healing process, using an ice pack for 15-20 minutes, at least twice for the day is extremely important. You may also want to do some stretching exercises, to help prevent the area from stiffening. You want the flexibility of your tendon to remain the same, so this allows this to remain. You can also introduce yoga stretches into it, as this will be a nice way to progressively stretch the area. I found that the yoga stretches helped more than just direct, regular stretches of the injured area.
Using small dosages of ibuprofen will also help with the inflammation. So a combination of removing the exercises that causes the irritation to the area of injury, stretching the area and icing it, along with taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammation drugs), will assist in the overall recovery of your tendon.
Once you feel that you are no longer feeling pain from normal activity, in the area of injury, you can slowly add back exercises that are directly stimulating that area and the other exercises that were irritating it as the muscle group was a supporting muscle for those exercises. Warming up nicely, and then each week going up in weight, you will end up back where you were before the injury.
My best advice, is to be patient. Do not rush into lifting heavy weights, and ignoring any pain associated with the injury because this could lead to more severe problems, like actually having surgery which I have heard, isn’t always a good option at all!Read More »