Tendon problems after a period of inactivity

Patient

Q: During the early months of the year I was in what I would describe as the best shape of my life. I was down from being quite obese a 5 years ago, to quite trim and noticing significant strength gains during lifting and workouts. I was lifting the heaviest I ever had been. My diet was also great with lots of EFA's, protein, fibre and I was also supplementing with a multi-vitamin, glucosamine-MSM and calcium. Unfortunately my life got a lot busier and the whole summer I didn't get any chances to visit the gym. Now, when at work towards the end of this year I did something stupid and lifted a heavy air-conditioning unit up some stairs resulting in what I think is a strained right bicep tendon (at the elbow) that has still not healed fully in 3-4 months. More recently, due to reasons I do not know, my left groin tendon has been hurting in exactly the same way, it feels torn. I am starting to feel a weakness in the tendon at the back of my knee and sometimes my achilles tendons dont feel strong if I run even short distances. I am 21 and falling apart! Please help.

Doctor

A:   Most likely your body got “deconditioned” due to the inactivity period of not going to the gym and doing no workouts for a while. As a result of the effort lifting a heavy object you had an injured tendon. I suggest that you start an exercise routine in which you should increase progressively the physical demands in order to avoid further Overuse or Stress injuries. The overuse creates stress that the body cannot repair, and soft tissue breakdown occurs.

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