By Joshua Tucker
This Pain Causing Dynamic page answers the question:
"Why do I continue to have pain even though I have done everything that my doctor told me to do for my Tendonitis and/or Carpal Tunnel?
There is an important truth about Tendonitis that is has gone entirely unnoticed and misunderstood.
Tendonitis does not exist in a vacuum. It does not exist in only one little spot. Neither Wrist Splints nor Surgery has the ability to ‘cure’ Tendonitis.
Tendonitis has an entire dynamic, ecology, and downward spiral mechanism to it.
If you don’t deal with the mechanism, it is unlikely that you will ever be free of the symptom of that mechanism ... which is Tendonitis (and Pain).
1. First there is an irritation or micro-injury of some kind. Whether it is the slow onset from Repetitive Strain Injury, or a onetime injury like playing tennis all day when you are out of shape, there is ‘injury’
2. Then the body responds to injury with an Inflammation Process. You may want to read the page on Inflammation before continuing on this page.
This Process Of Inflammation:
Traps fluid in the area and releases chemical which enhances your sensitivity to pain.
That makes your muscles tighten up and sets your nervous system on the defensive, which tightens muscles and keeps them tight. This is ‘guarding’, your nervous system’s method of protecting you by tightening up.
Tighter muscles put more tension on the tendons.
3. Then you do some activity using those tighter muscles, work or play or even just moving around with your normal daily routine.
4. Every time you move you pull on the too tight tendon the ‘injury’ gets irritated.
Or worse. Depending on what you are doing and the exact nature of your tendonitis injury, you not only irritate, you also cause more micro-trauma to the tendon. This is increasing the size, scope, and severity of the injury.
5. Every time the injury gets irritated and/or further, we go right back to #2 and go through the whole process again.
But that’s not all!
6. Over time, the nervous system goes “Well look at that. We’ve been at this length for a while, so that must be normal.” So our nervous system literally resets our tight muscle as if that tightness and shortness is the new ‘normal’.
7. Then, (yes, there’s more!) over time, as muscles get tight and stay tight, our connective tissue starts shrink wrapping the muscles. This means that we get stuck more and more with a shorter structure that gets les mobile and less flexible.
8. Theeeeennnnnn, like a half squeezed sponge, our muscles have a hard time getting waste product out and new blood, oxygen, and nutrition in. This means we have sewage stuck in our muscles. The nervous system reads that as an irritant, and you guessed it, tightens up our muscles to protect us.
And remember what happens when our muscles get tighter?
They put more tension on the injured tendon structure, which makes it easier and easier for new fibers to break off.
9. I haven’t even mentioned scar tissue yet.
‘Injury’ means that fibers of your tendon have been broken, ripped, or torn. All of these fibers run the same direction (basically).
When you have a tendonitis causing injury, scar tissue lays down quickly, but in all different directions, to ‘heal’ the injury.
So let’s imagine an office worker at their keyboard.
Type type type. Repetitive Motion. Tiny little micro trauma to the tendon, means that some of the protein fibers have sheared off.
This sets off an Inflammation Response and scar tissue begins to lay down on the injured area.
The body wants to heal you fast.
To heal you fast it lays down scar tissue, protein fibers, the same kind of protein fiber that your tendon is made up of.
EXCEPT that it lays those fibers down in all different directions. This ‘heals’ you fast, but leaves your structure less structurally sound, or weaker, than it was.
So it takes less and less to reinjure the spot, which makes more scar tissue lay down, which makes it weaker, etc.
10. Because of the scar tissue dynamic, the nervous system basically considers a ‘healed’ injury a ‘constant’ injury.
This means that it is constantly defensive about it, worried about it, keeping the structure and the surrounding structures tight to defend it, and keeping at least a small amount of inflammatory process in place.
11. Tightness creates pain in the muscle by trapping waste product in, and keeping new blood out (ischemia). Pain makes muscles tighten.
The nervous system tightens your muscles to guard and protect you.
Inflammation releases chemical which makes you hurt more.
The moral of the story: Tight muscles create pain. Pain makes muscles tighten.
All these components set up The Downward Spiral.
Components 1-11 are constantly happening over and over, one causing the other, building on each other, reshaping the body and reprogramming the nervous system that controls the body.
Surgery has no hope of counteracting The Pain Causing Dynamic.
Splints and Braces calm but can't cure The Pain Causing Dynamic.
Corticosteroid Injections do not address The Pain Causing Dynamic.
Injury creates tightness... which creates pain... which creates more tightness... which creates more injury and pain... which creates more tightness... which creates more injury and pain... which creates more tightness... which creates.....................
Until you end up with excruciating, disabling pain...
Which creates more tightness…
You see the pattern?
Your body is ALWAYS either in a Downward Spiral, or an Upward Spiral.
The Pain Causing Dynamic is a prime mover that shifts and propels your body into the Downward Spiral of ever increasing pain and tightness.
When we are young, being in an Upward Spiral is natural and easy. As we age, we need to start doing the RIGHT kind of work and support to counteract all the factors that feed the Downward Spiral, like gravity, poor nutrition, lack of lengthening movement, etc.
It doesn't take much, but it does take the RIGHT efforts.
And it is vital if you want to avoid Tendonitis, aches and pains, wear and tear injury, cramp and spasm, and poor health in general.
Remember, regardless of whether it's part of a Tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel or any other dynamic, your Pain Causing Dynamic is a function of a Downward Spiral. Get to the RIGHT work to get back into an Upward Spiral to relieve your Tendonitis pain.
Go back to the top of this Pain Causing Dynamic page.
Go to the main Tendonitis page.
Go to the TendonitisExpert.com homepage.