How do I heal my 12 year old gymnast daughter's tendonitis FOREVER!?

by Christina L.
(Toronto, ON, Canada)



My 12-year-old daughter is a gymnast and injured her wrist doing a skill on balance beam. That was 3 months ago and her condition has not improved at all!

She's had extensive physiotherapy including ultrasound, cold/heat therapy, and acupuncture. She's taken anti-inflammatory drugs and ices her wrist regularly. She's had several x-rays to rule out growth plate and scaphoid bone fractures, both of which were negative.

She's now complaining that when she ices her wrist there is a spot that doesn't feel the cold, it feels warm. What is up with that? Has she caused nerve damage now?

I've read through your website, but all I've gotten is there's this secret remedy for tendonitis but I don't know what it is.

She has missed competing and will not be competing in the provincial championship this year. We are thinking that her gymnastics career may be over, and this has devastated her. More than that, as her parent, it is emotionally difficult to consider that my daughter may live in pain for the rest of her life. She has virtually no use of her right hand as a result of this injury.

Please let us know what we need to do to fix her so she can return to normal life and the passion she loves so much (gymnastics).

Anxiously awaiting your response.

Regards,
Christina L.

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Joshua Answers

Hello Christina.

Thanks for looking for help for your daughter. I can appreciate that.

I'm going to skip the condolences and words about how un-enjoyable the experience so far has been. I will say that injury can be confusing and scary, which you have perfectly described.

So, let's jump right in.

First off, I need more information.

1. What exactly was she doing when she injured herself? Please describe the position and action.

2. Was she totally pain free, and then got off the balance beam and was in pain? Or, it hurt later and you think it's from the balance beam, or?

3. Where exactly is that spot that feels warm when she is icing, and is that the spot where the worst of the pain is? Take and attach a picture with a finger or an arrow pointing to the spot, or describe as accurately as possible.

4. What exactly does 'icing regularly' mean? And, how exactly does she ice?

5. As far as your daughter's diet, how much protein does she regularly eat?

6. Does she/did she have other physical aches/pains?

7. What does 'virtually no use of her hand' mean? Meaning everything hurts? Or?



Secondly, you've read through the website and you have gotten much more than just that there's some secret Tendonitis cure.

You now know that there is no magic bullet or overnight fix.

You now know that anti-inflammatory drugs just aren't going to do the job.

(I should add more in there about ultrasound not doing the job. I don't understand why it's use is so prevalent)

You now know how Tendonitis, Inflammation, and the Pain Causing Dynamic works.

You also know How To Reduce Inflammation.

Have you been using the Ice Dip and Ice Massage routines with your daughter? Or is she just Ice Packing?





Thirdly, I'm guessing it's more of a cartilage bruise, or a tendon or ligament tear, as opposed to Tendonitis per se. But that's just my guess from what little you've said. I need more information.

And it's important for you to know, whether it's tendonitis, tendon or ligament tear, the treatment is basically the same. Absolutely fixable, though it will take some work and time.

How quickly she will be able to get back to competing is up to you, and her, and doing the most effective treatment methods. Plus a little bit of luck from her genetics and physical variables.

It is unlikely her career is over -if- you learn the secret to healing this kind of injury (kind of injury to be determined).

And, if she's looking at gymnastics as a career, it is in her best interest to learn how to avoid and fix her own injuries. You know how rough this sport is on our little warriors.

We can't do much for injuries inside a joint, or total rips/tears where a structure is separated into two pieces, or broken bones.

But for the kinds of injuries it sounds like you are describing, totally fixable with the right know-how.

Time and rest won't heal this at all, much less for forever, since the body heals back less structurally strong than it was before if left to it's own devices. You remember this from reading through the website.




As far as your daughter having nerve damage from this, it's incredibly unlikely.

As far as still being in acute pain three months later, this is not uncommon, and points to a raging Inflammatory response. I am not surprised her treatment plan so far hasn't produced satisfactory results.

Answer the above questions, and let's go from there. I'm happy to help.




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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert
www.TendonitisExpert.com
















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Comments for How do I heal my 12 year old gymnast daughter's tendonitis FOREVER!?

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Mar 30, 2009
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Follow Up - More Information - PART 2 How do I heal my 12 year old gymnast daughter's tendonitis FOREVER!?
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your response! OK...let's clarify:

1) She was doing a backhandspring on the low balance beam and landed offline with her left hand on the mat and the other one (the right one) on the left edge of the beam.

2) Her wrist hurt on impact and has been sore ever since. She did, however, train on it for 3 weeks because the physiotherapist thought it was a sprain. It was only after 3 weeks of therapy with no change and increased pain on the radius that he suggested getting x-rays done, which lead to a bone scan to rule out growth plate and/or scaphoid bone fracture.

3) I'm not sure how to attach a picture here, so I will do my best to describe it. The spot she says feels warm is also where the most pain is. It's on the left side of her right wrist just below the thumb and on the radius around where the growth plate would be. It's a circular area about 1" in diameter.

4) She uses an ice pack on it for about 10 to 20 minutes most days. She has also taken an ice cube and circled it around the most painful area.

5) Her diet SUCKS quite frankly. If her food isn't made with white flour or sugar it's a struggle to get it down her throat. An ongoing challenge since birth. Protein intake is almost none. Her only protein comes from peanut butter, Kraft Dinner and chicken and that's not everyday. She does take supplements, but I don't think Flinstone Vitamins is enough.

6) She's had some issues with her pelvis getting jammed (SI joint) which required physiotherapy to adjust it. That's been remedied. She's had other sprains (ankles) that have taken 6 to 8 weeks to heal. Right now, other than the wrist, she doesn't have any other injuries or pain.

7) She doesn't use her wrist at all and refuses to move it. She writes with it and that causes pain (on a scale of 1 to 10, she says a 7). She's had it in a splint for several weeks.

You are right, I did learn alot about inflammation and how it works. We will be trying your "super icing" technique and see if that helps her. How long should she wait between soaks before soaking her arm again in the ice water?

Thank you very much for your help with this. I look forward to your response.

Regards,
Christina




Mar 31, 2009
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PART 3 How do I heal my 12 year old gymnast daughter's tendonitis FOREVER!?
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Thank you so much for your response! OK...let's clarify:

1) She was doing a back handspring on the ....

Yikes. So either she already had a serious tendonitis dynamic going on (no pain from it yet doesn't mean it wasn't coming on) that the landing serious aggravated, or, and much more likely, she has a ripped/torn tendon or ligament, or some bruised/crushed cartiledge, which could include a bone bruise.

Important question to help determine. I wasn't clear from the description. Is the bad spot on the back of the hand side, or the palm side?


2) Her wrist hurt on impact and has been sore ever since.....

Yeah....could be tendonitis but I REALLY doubt it. Pain on impact is a pretty good clue. Did the doctor/P.T.s call it tendonitis? Sprain/Strain makes much more sense. Technically if her tendon is hurt, that counts tendonitis, but I personally don't consider impact injury like that to be tedonitis. I consider it tendon injury. Still, the body responds the same way.

3) I'm not sure how to attach a picture here, so I will do my best to describe it....

See question in #1.

4) She uses an ice pack on it for about 10 to 20 minutes most days. She has also taken an ice cube and circled it around the most painful area.

Ice Cube GOOD! Ice pack 1x, not good. Not good enough, anyway. It's just not going to do the job. See the Ice Massage on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.

5) Her diet SUCKS quite frankly. If her food isn't made with white flour or sugar it's a struggle to get it down her throat.

I should just stop here and say, "Tell her that if she wants to continue being a gymnast, she must change her eating habits."

Flat out. No other options.

Not because you want her to, but because her race car needs fuel, nutrition, and the necessary building blocks to race down the road.

She's not eating enough protein to have the building blocks necessary to heal.

Healing tendonitis or any tendon or ligament injury REQUIRES extra protein to heal quickly in a body that already has plenty.

Your daughter is definitely running protein deficient. If she doesn't eat more protein, she isn't going to heal. That's a bit general, but it's close enough to the truth to be the truth.

ESPECIALLY if you both are considering competition.

Any other advice I (or anyone else) give will fail if she doesn't eat more protein and better quality food. Period.

I'll save my comments about the rest of her diet for later. Right now protein is #1 priority to help her injury heal, and heal quickly.



7) She doesn't use her wrist at all and refuses to move it. She writes with it and that causes pain (on a scale of 1 to 10, she says a 7). She's had it in a splint for several weeks.

Splints are fine for the VERY short term.

CONTINUED IN PART 4




Mar 31, 2009
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Part 5 How do I heal my 12 year old gymnast daughter's tendonitis FOREVER!?
by: The Tendonitis Expert

CONTINUED FROM PART 4.

Wrist splints are fine for the VERY short term. I rarely say this, but she needs the protection right now.

If you are both serious about her healing quickly (And this will all be tough to do if she isn't willing to do the work, both dietary and self-care):

1. Ice Dip and Ice Massage intensively. Consider it to be training for competition. It can't be a casual thing.

If you, and/or she, want her to be active again, and active to any kind of competitive level, I suggest that you:

1. Keep an ice dip going constantly. She needs to Ice Dip both forearms AT LEAST 20x/day. Ten seconds each. More is better.

During commercials, when walking through the kitchen, before and after every meal, constantly and repetitively.

At least a couple minutes between dips. You want to let the body push a lot of new blood back into the area to warm it up. You can do it several times in a couple minutes, that's fine a couple times a day, but ice dipping just creates a response, and you want that response over and over.

This must be done diligently for 7 days.

2. Protein intake. Lots. Chicken, fish, egg whites, steak, etc.
Sprouted grain bread. Edamame. Cottage cheese. Yogurt with live culture in it.
If protein powder supplement, make sure it's protein 'isolate' not 'concentrate'.

She's young, she doesn't know any better. Unfortunately, she doesn't get that excuse anymore. Just being totally straight up about it, if she's not willing to change her eating, she's not going to get back into gymnastics.

3. Ice Massage as I describe. 2-3 times per day. She needs to learn to work it in, press into the hurting area gently at first, then with more pressure, not just across the skin. She basically needs to slowly push the pain out with the ice cube.

4. Ice and protein for the next 7 days. Then I'll adjust the activities. Ask questions along the way.

Answer that question about which side of the wrist the injury is on, and I'll say more about that.

First we get the pain mostly out and give the body the building blocks it needs. Then we help the specific injury heal as correctly as we can.

I'll show you how.





Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert
www.TendonitisExpert.com

Mar 31, 2009
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More Info PART 6 How do I heal my 12 year old gymnast daughter's tendonitis FOREVER!?
by: Christina L.

In answer to your further inquiries, the painful spot is towards the back of her hand on the thumb side of her wrist. There is actually a small lump in the area that hurts the most.

The physiotherapist initially thought it was a sprain, or maybe a torn tendon. The doctors thought it was a fracture of either the scaphoid bone or her growth plate. When the orthopedic surgeon examined her wrist he said it was very "squishy" and thought that tendonitis had set in after the fact.

As far as her diet, even when she was an infant starvation was an option for her not to take something she did not like. I have a great story about introducing her to formula at 2 months old...6 hours, no food. The child has an iron will. However, I am the parent and she needs to understand the damage she is doing to her body.

We'll be figuring out some way to get more protein into her diet. Thank you for that piece of advice. Hearing it from an expert might carry a little more clout.

We will be starting the ice dip today!

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Joshua Answers

I admit I was thinking yesterday that I wouldn't necessarily want to be the one to try to get her to change her eating habits....that might be a storm worthy of reality tv...:)

On the other hand, it might go really easily if her brain is willing to make a shift.

She can use her willpower in any way she chooses.

I like the sponge analogy. Take a dry, hard, crunchy sponge. Fragile and brittle.

Pour some water on it, and it becomes soft, squishy, pretty much unbreakable.

The human body is a lot like that. If we don't keep pouring protein, nutrients, and good calories into it, it becomes dry, crunchy, and fragile.

And you know that gunky, dirty sponge that's been on the sink for months and months. If we eat sugar and white flour and processed food and such, our bodies become gunky, nasty, etc.

The dryer and crunchier and gunkier our bodies are, the easier it is for us to get tendonitis and other soft tissue injury.

Youth can only take us so far.

I'm actually surprised her coach hasn't entered into the nutrition arena with her. It's a requirement of top level competition. But I don't know the situation at all so I'm going to stay out of it and stick with the physical side of things.

That squishy bump is, for the most part, Inflammation. I'm betting something has gotten pinched/crushed. Doesn't really matter what it is tendon or cartiledge or ligament, there's nothing to do for it but to get all the Inflammation out and help everything heal correctly.

Having said that, it may take longer to 'heal', as 'bruised' tissue like that is harder to get at than just tendonitis issues. It's 'deeper' in a couple different ways so it's more important to get at it and keep at it.

Go ye forth and Ice Dip and Ice Massage!

Keep me updated. Ask questions along the way.

Joshua

Mar 01, 2014
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What Happened?
by: Troy

This is obviously an old questions but I would love to hear how it turned out. I am suffering from similar problems with my wrist for almost 12 weeks now.




Apr 04, 2014
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Update
by: Anonymous

I want an update also, my daughter is suffering from tendonitis and is a gymnast also...hers is in her ankle.




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