On Nuclear Bombs and Our Tendons

This is just a quick post today about a really interesting article I came across on NPR.  It is called What Nuclear Bombs Tell Us About Our Tendons.  It’s a short read, so I won’t quote the entire text here.  What I found interesting about the article is how long it truly takes for our tendons to heal/regenerate as we age.  

One of the most common tendon injuries we see in physical therapy is Achille’s tendon strains or tears.  These injuries can take months to heal.  The patient that I have seen the most of lately with this type of injury tends to be a male between 30-40 years old who was participating in activities which involve a lot of twisting and cutting. 

In the past 6 months, two were sustained during rec league basketball games, one during a softball game, and another was while a guy was playing catch in the back yard with his son.  The reason that I suspect we see this injury in this age group is that we have guys who used to be very active (who have 30-40 year old tendons) go out and try to play like they did in their teens or 20’s.  The problem is that the tendons have not been worked as much as they were a decade or two ago, and maybe the body has a few more pounds that in did back then.  Mix these 2 factors with sudden bursts of multi-directional movement, and they’re asking for trouble.
As far as treating Achille’s tendon issues is concerned, we find that the earlier we can start treatment, the better the chances of a successful outcome.  Walking around or running/cutting on an already-inflamed tendon is a recipe for disaster, because an inflamed tendon is a weak tendon. 

If you or someone you know has had Achille’s tendon pain for more than a few weeks, call one of our facilities for a free consultation or see your doctor and ask for a prescription for physical therapy.

Image Courtesy of http://www.methodistorthopedics.com


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