Each year in the United States, more than 16 million tendon and ligament injuries are reported. A tear is a common tendon injury, especially involving the Achilles tendon.
Once you have one, you’re likely to experience joint pain that may be intense from the outset or worsen over time, along with stiffness, warmth, and inflammation. Some people also notice a crunching sensation or sound when they use an injured tendon.
Thankfully, all of these symptoms can diminish with proper treatment.
Interventional pain specialist Dr. William Yancey at Yancey Pain & Spine in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, practices evidence-based medicine and the latest advancements in pain care to help you get the relief you need so you can get back to life as usual. Take a moment to learn more about torn tendons and available treatments.
Causes of a torn tendon
Tendon tears can result from a sudden, or acute, injury or from wear and tear, as you use the tendon over time. Gradual wear and tear happens with aging, as well as overuse from participating in the same type of movement repeatedly. Regularly playing sports, such as tennis or basketball, for example, can raise your risk.
If you engage in athletic activities only occasionally, you may run the risk of an acute tear, especially if you don’t warm up your body beforehand or you wear poorly fitting or low-quality shoes. Poor shoe support can also fuel the development of tendonitis, a chronic pain condition that sometimes leads to a tear.
Torn tendon treatments
Treatment for torn tendons varies, depending on factors such as the cause and the severity of your symptoms. In some cases, painful tendon issues improve without the need for outside medical support.
Home methods such as rest, ice therapy, limiting specific activities, and taking over-the-counter pain medications may suffice. In some cases, using crutches helps reduce pain and strain on a tendon as it heals.
For more severe or long-lasting issues, Dr. Yancy may recommend prescription medication, physical therapy, injections, a combination of these, or reparative surgery. During tendon repair surgery, the torn tendon is stitched back together through an incision.
If you’re experiencing chronic tendon pain that isn’t helped sufficiently by other treatments, you may benefit from dorsal root ganglion stimulation. This specialized device sends mild electrical impulses to your brain to alleviate pain sensations and restore a better quality of life.
To learn more about tendon injuries or get the care you need, call the Houston or The Woodlands, Texas, office of Yancey Pain & Spine or request an appointment with Dr. Yancey online. You can also send our team a message here on the website.