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5 most common muscle injuries that people in their 40’s experience

  1. Tennis Elbow (and other weekend warrior injuries). After 40, repetitive strain and sports injuries tend to be #1 reason people visit orthopedists. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is one of the most common of these complaints. This overuse injury affects the tendons in the outside of the elbow joint. If you’re experiencing weak grip strength and a painful soreness or burning sensation in the outside of the elbow, you may have this condition. Tennis elbow can be a sports injury, but it can also be caused by knitting, using a computer mouse, typing, doing yard work, or playing a musical instrument. Anything you do over and over, for hours at a time, can lead to an overuse injury like tennis elbow.
  2. Tendonitis in other parts of the body is also commonly seen in people over 40 — for example, wrist and forearm tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis.
  3. Lower back problems. Many people (especially men) develop back problems in their 40s, due to a combination of risk factors including a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, arthritis, and a loss of bone density.  Sciatica (a nerve issue that leads to numbness and discomfort in the hips and legs) is also a common complaint in both men and women.
  4. Rotator cuff tears. Athletes and people middle-aged and older are more likely to sustain this common injury. The rotator cuff is the part of your shoulder joint that allows you to lift and rotate your arm. Over time, normal wear and tear in the shoulder joints weaken the dominant shoulder, especially in people who perform frequent tasks that require overhead motions (for example, swinging a hammer, painting walls, or throwing a ball). About 2 million people per year sustain this injury. If you have a sore shoulder or limited mobility, it might be time to visit a specialist.
  5. ACL tears and Meniscus tears. Age-related tissue degeneration makes the knee joint particularly susceptible to injury. If you’ve put on extra weight as you’ve gotten older, this added stress can also contribute to knee problems. Due to biomechanics, hormonal changes, and some medications, women are anywhere from two to 10 times as likely as men to sustain ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and ruptures — and this likelihood increases after 40. ACL tears and ruptures can happen when you land awkwardly after jumping, when you pivot or twist your body with your feet in a fixed position, or when you sustain an impact to your knees while your feet are planted. As for meniscus tears, after 30, both men and women alike are prone to damaging the rubbery, disc-shaped “shock absorber” cartilage inside the knee joint. Meniscus (cartilage) tears can happen playing sports, but many people over 30 tear their menisci doing everyday activities like climbing and descending stairs, hiking, kneeling or squatting, or walking on cobblestones or a rough terrain. Even getting out of a chair awkwardly can tear this cartilage.So what can be done? All of these injuries can be treated naturally or even prevented using the Koontzin technique, a neuromuscular technique focused on structural alignment and soft tissue health. At times supplements and dietary changes are in order, nevertheless, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above it is time for a tune up.At Tamarindo Muscle Therapy we take a look at your overall health and wellbeing. Through the Koontzin technique, we ensure your muscles and ligaments are flexible and firing properly without restriction, which helps prevent overuse injuries from ever happening. However, if you’re currently dealing with one of these injuries it’s not too late…come in for a free consultation and learn about our different treatment plans.

What is scar tissue?

Scar tissue is formed as part of the normal healing process. It inevitably forms whenever our body’s tissue is damaged. Most people understand scars that form as a result of a cut, as they are easy to see, but scars also form internally when we injure our muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Unfortunately, scar tissue is not as functional as the tissue that it replaces. Normal tissue in the body has a consistent form and our healthy skeletal muscle tissue is formed of collagen that sits in a striated fashion (lined up parallel to one another). It allows for normal contraction and flexibility.

When scar tissue forms after injury, our body produces collagen excessively. The initial production of granulation is necessary to provide tensile strength to the injury site. In certain circumstances, the granulation leads to contraction of the scar and to poor structural organisation of the components of regenerating muscle and scar tissue. This leads to a lack of flexibility in the tissue and often this poor structural organization can cause pain and dysfunction.

We like to use a paint brush as an example. If we take the correct steps to store the brush after use, we can pull out the brush and use it easily for our next project. The brush starts out as a soft, supple parallel group of bristles that can bend easily in many directions. If we simply let the bristles dry, they start to bind to one another and the brush loses its flexibility and function. The brush cracks and bends irregularly. At this point more care is required to rehabilitate the brush and get it back to work. Hence early diagnosis and treatment of the brush is a necessity.

It is important to know that all injured tissue will develop scarring to some extent. When the scarring prevents normal function of the affected tissue or joint, pain or restricted function exists.