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It is now believed that most ’sore joint’ problems are not “tendonitis” (swelling of the tendon) but are instead “tendinopathies” which means something else. It means “diseased tendons.” Damaged, but not swollen. Shaken, but not stirred. -Whatever.
It is now believed that damaged tendons are actually frayed. Cortisone merely interferes with the neural pain receptors and actually hides the pain in these cases and nothing more. It prolongs the actual healing time and allows more damage to occur in the tendon.
So what was my doctor’s advice? Exercise. He said to bend my sore arm to the point of pain and then, -force it even farther. And, repeat often. Stretch it, get that scar tissue that he surmises is present, stretched. It will (according to him) eventually stretch to the proper length and my mobility will improve.
He told me to take up tennis or two-handed ping-pong. Or left-handed bowling. Think ‘Karate Kid’ and ‘wax-on, wax-off.’ He actually said that to me.
Anything that would cause me to repeatedly extend and over-extend the stiff shoulder but with the caveat to ‘not over do it.’ And of course, to continue to use Extra Strength Tylenol for pain relief.
None of this is what I wanted to hear of course. It’s either a case of ‘that hurts? So stop doing that!” or “that hurts? Do it some more, -but just don’t hurt yourself.” Oh joy.
Pain is supposed to be good for the soul, not that this is much comfort right now. I’d almost rather have the pain-relieving injection and forgo the soul-improving pain, truth be known.
Source: Corticosteroids: short-term gain for long-term pain? Published Online: 22 October 2010 in The Lancet
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