April 25, 2004 at 7:22 PM CDT - Updated June 27 at 1:53 AM
Shock Away Tendonitis
Every year millions of Americans seek treatment for tendonitis. It occurs when a tendon near a joint becomes inflamed. Treatment is often difficult and recovery can be long. Now, a new approach relieves the pain of this common condition.
Many weekend warriors know the pain of tendonitis in elbows, shoulders, feet and knees brought on by vigorous activity. Then, something as simple as this opens a new door to pain. Just ask John Cherry.
"One weekend, I became a yard warrior," Cherry tells Ivanhoe. Swinging a leaf blower aggravated an elbow tendon already sore from his golf swing. His doctor said it was chronic tendonitis, also known as tendonopathy.
"It was really pretty severe," he says. "It would hurt to do almost anything involving the arm." It hurt for Cherry to write or hold the phone receiver to his ear. Typing was an even more painful activity.
Now, an increasing number of patients with tendonitis are finding relief with extracorporeal shock wave therapy. During the therapy, ultrasound energy targets the affected area.
"Numerous clinical studies have shown it to be effective in managing a wide variety of tendonopathy and chronic tendonitis syndromes," says orthopaedic surgeon Spero Karas, M.D., of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Doctors believe the shock waves inhibit pain in the nerve endings and increase blood flow, promoting healing. Dr. Karas says: "It's safe. It's non-invasive. It's comfortable for the patient, and it's well-tolerated."
And it's helping patients like Cherry carry on as weekday warriors free from the pain of their weekend battles. "I was very happy to have the opportunity to use it and get some relief," he says.
Doctors say it usually takes two to three 20-minute shock wave treatments to relieve the pain of chronic tendonitis.
If you would like more information, please contact:
Tom Hughes, Managing Editor UNC Health Care 101 Manning Dr. Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (919) 966-6047 email@example.com