Tendons are flexible but strong cords in the body that attach muscles to bone. Even though they can move, they aren’t elastic, so they can’t stretch when pushed too far or twisted. Unfortunately, this lack of elasticity often leads to injuries that range in severity. For example, a minor tendon injury can cause dull pain for days, while other more serious tendon injuries require surgery to heal.
People involved in sports or otherwise active frequently deal with conditions like tendonitis or severe tendon tears. Likewise, tendons become weaker and more prone to injury as we age. Therefore, understanding how to treat tendon injuries is vital for tendon healing and returning to normal body function.
Tendon injuries can result from trauma like a cutting wound or putting too much weight on a joint. When you jump during a basketball game, for example, coming down from a weird angle or with too much force can cause a tear or separation from the muscles.
Proper treatment of any tendon injury will increase the chances of a full recovery and prevent re-injury. Here are some things you should know about tendon healing and how to get back on your feet faster.
Surgery Vs. Rest
Whenever you feel like you’ve injured a tendon, you must see a doctor to determine the serious injury. How can you tell? Tendon injuries frequently have sharp pains when the joint or muscle moves. There can also be stability or mobility issues after an injury that point to tendon problems.
When you visit a medical professional, they’ll help by telling you whether the injury requires surgical or non-surgical treatment. For example, while some tendon tears can heal on their own, surgery is often required to sew the torn tendon back together.
Rest and doing things like icing the injury can get your tendon back in shape in some minor cases. Perhaps it is only a strained or sore tendon, which won’t require surgical intervention. When this happens, it’s imperative to rest and recover fully, or you risk injuring the tendon further or tearing it.
Common Tendon Injuries
Common tendon injuries include things like rotator cuff tears and strains, tendonitis, bicep tendon tears, tennis elbow, and more. They tend to happen more in older people when they twist or tear the tendon because the tendon becomes more brittle the older you get.
Again, minor tendon injuries typically require rest, while serious injuries will need medical attention.
Treating Tendon Injuries and Healing Faster
Tendon strains are treated with the RICE method. This stands for:
As with many other types of injuries, controlling inflammation after a tendon strain will help speed up the time it takes to heal. RICE also helps with any accompanying discomfort after an injury.
Tears can sometimes be treated with anti-inflammatory medications. The treatment for tears will depend on where the tendon is and how serious the tear is. For example, tearing a tendon in your knee can cause enormous pain whenever you bend or extend your leg. This is because the torn cartilage from the tendon is floating or moving in tight spaces where it shouldn’t, so it will hurt whenever you move. Doctors will typically need to open up the knee to shave away any torn tendon to relieve the pain. This, of course, will take months to recover from.
How Peptides Improve Tendon Healing
Research peptides are known to accelerate healing in many animal studies, and one peptide, in particular, BPC-157, has shown it speeds up reticulin and collagen formation. BPC-157 is a derivative of body protection compound or BPC. BPC is found in the gastrointestinal tract and promotes healing by encouraging blood vessel growth. In addition, BPC-157 can cause cells to proliferate faster and migrate to wounded areas more effectively.