Repair damaged tendons and heal injured and unhealthy muscles
Heal injured and unhealthy muscles and repair tendons fully for fast and effective return to activity
- understand how muscles work and get muscle strength back fast
- encourage tendon regeneration
- use pain relief and strapping where appropriate
With Dr Morton’s - the medical helpline© you can email or phone a real doctor at any time for more information, reassurance or advice
Get moving with strong muscles and tendons
Muscles in the body are either smooth muscle or skeletal muscle. Smooth muscle is involuntary, working without our direct control, such as in our gut, moving ingested food along. Skeletal muscles are the workhorses of the body, under conscious direct control, enabling us to move fast or slowly.
When put under excessive stress, a skeletal muscle can be strained or torn. A muscle that crosses more than one joint, such as a hamstring or gastrocnemius (calf), is more susceptible to injury.
A muscle strain may cause
- pain – a grade 1 muscle strain causes localised pain but no weakness
- weakness – a grade 2 strain causes pain, weakness and limitation of movement
- loss of movement in a complete tear or rupture – a grade 3 strain most commonly occurs at the muscle-tendon junction
There are also a number of muscle problems which are not related to injury, but rather to inflammation of some sort. DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is the term applied to muscle soreness that occurs one or two days after we start unaccustomed muscle activity. It is always best to build up to exercise gradually!
Then there is the very difficult conundrum of fibromyalgia syndrome. FMS is a syndrome in which there is pain, and often stiffness, in ligaments, tendons and especially muscles. It may occur in just one area of the body, or in several areas at a time. Joints may ache but there is no detectible arthritis. Sleep is usually disturbed, leading to extreme tiredness, and poor concentration. The frustration can lead to irritability, low mood and depression.
When you should contact a doctor
You should contact a doctor or a physiotherapist if you have a grade 2 or 3 strain, as described above, or if you are concerned about other muscle problems.
Muscles have a very good blood supply, thus bleeding with a strain, but healing quickly.
Initial treatment would be PRICE
- P for protection (from further damage)
- R for rest
- I for ice
- C for compression
- E for elevation
Strapping can be very helpful, and is available with full explanations how to use it in the
Tendons connect muscles to bones, anchoring them to allow the muscles to work at maximum strength.
Tendon injury may be acute or chronic, and often occurs where the blood supply to the tendon is poorest. Achilles tendon injury is therefore often about 2cm above its attachment to the heel bone, or at the muscle-tendon junction.
An acutely torn tendon often occurs in a previously uninjured tendon, such as the Achilles tendon or the supraspinatus tendon of the shoulder, in older people. There is pain at the site of injury, and weakness of the associated muscle.
Chronic tendon injury is often incorrectly called a tendonitis which implies inflammation, whereas it usually involves degeneration within the tendon due its poor blood supply, and should be termed a tendonopathy or tendonosis.
Initial treatment for acute tendon injury would be PRICE, as above, but full repair of a tendonopathy (‘tendonitis’) requires correct rehabilitation exercises, and may need injection or operative therapy.
- muscle strains
- frozen shoulder
- shin splints
- is January the month of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)?