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A Photobiomodulation and PDTR Approach to Inflammation and Tendonosis

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the normal response of the body to protect itself from injury, infection and disease.

Signs and symptoms of inflammation are commonly redness, heat, swelling, and pain.

Tendonitis & Tendonosis

What is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon. A tendon is what attaches the muscle to the bone. This is overuse injury is extremely common but can be difficult to heal as often the places it develops are used in you daily life making it challenging to properly heal. This is considered the acute/early stage of an injury.

What is Tendonosis

This could be thought of as chronic tendonitis which means it has been going on for a long time. Tendonosis is a degeneration of the collagen in the tendons resulting in pain or stiffness when you touch or move the affected tendon.

Both Tendonitis and Tendonosis create a lot of inflammation around the tendons due to overuse and sustained damage. This can create the symptoms associated with inflammation in the area making these conditions really uncomfortable in your daily life. The other issue is the pain and reduced range of motion may also cause you to avoid proper exercises to help recover from tendonitis/tendonosis in the first place.

What are some common tendon injuries:

  • Achilles tendonitis

  • Golfers/Tennis elbow

  • Bicep Tendonitis

  • Jumpers Knee

  • Plantar Fasciitis

Healthy tendon vs tendonosis

One interesting note is the difference between a health tendon and one that may be in a degenerative state. The fibers of a healthy tendon can be tightly pack and have a universal symmetrical orientation. However, one that might be suffering from tendonosis which is the chronic variation usually has more space and no real orientation making it very likely to become re-injured.

Low level Lasers affect on inflammation

Low Level lasers have a variety of benefits, most of which are caused by providing the mitochondria of the cell with the resources to produce ATP. Creating the ATP will enhance white blood cells. The white blood cell is the first on the scene of inflammation. The role the white blood cells play in the inflammatory process results in a helping to resolve the inflammation faster, reduce degradation, and decreasing pain.

One of the first kind of white blood cells on the scene is a macrophage and eats excess debris and remnant materials from an injury. The presence of this macrophage signals for inflammation to either continue or resolve. When inflammation is signaled to resolve it also brings in other cells to repair like fibroblasts that bring in collagen to repair structures.

Through studies we can determine that when macrophages are exposed to photobiomodulation they change to more of an anti-inflammatory role. This can occur during acute or chronic inflammation stages.

Low level Lasers affect on Tendonitis/Tendonosis

Removing the inflammation is key, however low level lasers will also stimulate fibroblasts activity. This repairs collagen and specifically produce type-1 collagen which is ideal for recovery.

This all results in reduced scar tissue, stronger repair and the affected tendon to less likely to become injured.

Resources for low level lasers:

Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation

Systematic Review of Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) on the Experimental Calcaneal Tendon Injury in Rats

What can P-DTR do for Tendonitis/Tendonosis

One of the most common causes of overuse pathologies like arthritis and tendonitis can be an imbalance of muscles leading to improper/non-optimal biomechanics. This can lead to excessive wear-and-tear on the muscles,ligaments and tendons as they can create friction over boney landmarks or just be constantly overused.

P-DTR can be used to assess why your body may be changing the biomechanics and over/under using muscles. Sometime pain receptors may also be overstimulated/hyper-sensitized leading to increased pain in an area and thus more inflammation, resetting these is also crucial to breaking the cycle of pain.

Combining P-DTR and Low Level Lasers Low level lasers are amazing for helping to repair areas struggling to heal and accelerate the healing process. If there is already damage done to an area this work can be crucial to an optimal recovery. However, if this inflammation and damage is being caused by something affecting the body then P-DTR can be crucial to resetting and restoring proper biomechanics and usage of the affected area.

P-DTR is crucial for long term results and the low level lasers accelerates and restores

Learn more about Low Level Lasers here:

Learn more about P-DTR here:

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