Spring brings extreme weather changes and this can put stress on our tendons and sinews. The liver Qi is most active in spring and the liver controls the tendons in Chinese medicine, so if a person is stressed or angry, they are more likely to injure themselves. Old injuries can become inflamed with improper and repetitive stress over time. This causes microtears where the tendons attach to the bones causing tendonitis, which is usually at the ankle, rotator cuff, wrist and elbow. Bone spurs, Achille’s heel, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome and burstitis also fall into this category.
By the time the patient realizes that there is a problem, it’s usually chronic and a stage 2 or 3 sinew injury. Initial treatment is gentle massage and acupuncture to relieve the pain and reduce stress. Diet changes help healing. Sour foods such as pickles constrain the liver and tighten the tendons. Overly spiced foods, prawns, hot curries and alcohol also put pressure on the liver and can increase inflammation.
Vigorous exercise must be avoided and as movement returns, and pain subsides, gentle stretches are used to strengthen the area. Herbal plasters and decoctions and herbal pills help relieve the pain and accelerate the healing alongside acupuncture. These treatments help tremendously with shortening the duration of the injury.
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