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A tendon is just a connector, like a piece of string, between the part of the muscle that contracts and the bone to which it attaches. Tendons only need a small amount of nourishment and therefore they only have a minimal blood supply. This means that when a tendon is damaged it doesn’t have a good blood supply to help it to heal quickly. When a tendon is damaged fluid seeps out of torn fibres and causes localised swelling. This works like glue squeezed from a tube; the glue tries to repair the damage and in its enthusiasm sticks everything to everything else. The individual fibres of the tendon which are normally free to glide slightly one on the other become stuck together and are then irritated by the pull of even the slightest contraction in the muscle. It is important to assess what activity or movement causes the pain so that the patient can do this activity and movement as little as possible so as not to aggravate the problem. See: RSI, Golfers elbow, Tennis elbow, Supra-spinatus tendinitis, Tenosynovitis.

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Rest is always a sensible treatment in the acute stage. Tendon injuries are not conditions that you can exercise through. By using Manual Lymph Drainage and Connective Tissue Manipulation techniques the circulation can be improved. Tension in the connective tissue decreases and the adhesions between the fibres in the tendon are softened. This restores painless movement as the tendon fibres glide over each other. Once the pain has reduced, a programme of personal exercises designed for the patient to help the muscles regain their strength. It is important that the activity which caused the problem is not resumed until the whole area is looser, the area is completely pain free and the muscles have regained their strength otherwise the problem will just recur.