Pinched nerves often cause symptoms which very closely mimic that of “overuse injuries". But we still see unrelenting cases of “overuse” injuries which aren’t caused by pinched nerves, so what are we to do?
You may be interested to know that overuse injuries (also referred to as repetitive strain injuries) are complaints from tendons. When the other structures complain, we either see a less persistent presentation or we expect to see a directional preference making you feel better. For persistent symptoms, in the absence of a directional preference and having already ruled out a pinched nerve, our suspicions must turn to the tendons. We typically need to dig into the details around what may have changed at the onset of the pain before we get the confirmation that the tendon is the culprit...
It may be a very healthy change for you to cycle more often, include a new exercise at gym or run a hillier route, but from a tendon’s perspective, this can be the end of the world! Tendons need to be carefully primed to accept an increased responsibility or could easily retaliate to changes in pace/intensity, frequency, duration and direction, because all of these affect the amount of load the tendon experiences.
Should you change from a varied work environment to being stuck behind your laptop, a sudden increase in using your computer mouse could be enough to kick off a protest lasting for years – which doesn’t stay better when you rest it, or train it, because you never addressed the initial change and each subsequent attempt at remedying it, leads only to MORE CHANGE!
When we rehabilitate tendons, we reduce the load on the tendon to drop the complaint to a low level by adjusting the type of load to get the best strengthening response without eliciting any complaint from the poor tendon. We then secretively start increasing the load bit by bit, covering the various factors needed, to get the tendon working HARD again without it realising that anything has changed at all.
The reality is that some tendons are more forgiving than others. This is why your running buddy may get away with being off sick for a week and jumping straight back into a full running program, while you may need to ease into that 1st run after having a week off, to ensure that you do not encounter an opinion from a tendon.
The same goes for using a computer or going to gym and yes, if needed, we will ask your boss to accommodate e.g., frequent breaks from your laptop if that’s what is needed to get you and your tendon back to working at full pace.
Your health and physical wellbeing should be a priority deserving of quality care. Make sure to discuss any concerns you may have directly with your preferred physiotherapist, so that you can receive the appropriate guidance for your unique situation.
Contact us today to take charge of your health!
082 334 9028
Valley Centre Offices
396 Jan Smuts Avenue
(Convenient parking off Marian Road, behind the centre, up the ramp)
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