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Feature Article

Soft tissue rheumatism. Part 2: tendinitis, tenosynovitis, ligament sprains and muscle strains

Rodger Laurent

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Abstract

The recurrence of soft tissue injuries can be minimised by finding the precipitating cause, and adequately stretching and strengthening the involved structure before returning to the offending activity.

Key Points

  • In tendinitis, prolonged rest or immobilisation is detrimental to the tendon, because there is a rapid loss of collagen. It is important to prevent this, even if the initial exercises are minimal.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises are important for restoring normal movement in tenosynovitis. If exercise is not commenced early, there may be fibrosis and restriction of movement.
  • In ligament sprains, exercises must be continued after symptoms have resolved; it takes about nine months for ligaments to return to normal strength.
  • Recurrence of muscle strains relates to returning to the precipitating activity too soon, before the muscle has healed.

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