INFLAMMATION AND TENDINOPATHY: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TENDINOSIS AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
There are mountains of evidence showing that tendinopathies such as tendinosis are not inflammatory (HERE). In fact, clicking the link will take you to a number of posts that address the debate over whether tendinitis (tendon inflammation) even exists at all. So how is it we now have studies linking an obviously inflammatory problem (HEART DISEASE) with a non-inflammatory problem such as tendinosis? According to this month’s issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Association Between Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy: Cross-Sectional Study)….
“Recent evidence has found potential associations between cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and common musculoskeletal disorders. A strong association was observed between CVD risk scores and both glenohumeral joint pain and rotator cuff tendinopathy. The results show a dose-response trend of increasing risk [i.e. the more of one you found, the more likely you were to find the other along with it]. CVD risk factors demonstrated a strong correlation with glenohumeral joint pain and an even stronger correlation with rotator cuff tendinopathy. Results suggest a potentially modifiable disease mechanism.“
The last sentence is particularly interesting. It is suggesting that, in similar fashion to the myriad of CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES (which include virtually everything on THIS LIST of autoimmune diseases), TENDINOSIS can be controlled by “modification” — which is the code word for diet and lifestyle. Let me break this down and give you my thoughts.
While it’s true that tendinosis itself is not inflammatory (it does not contain inflammatory markers when biopsied), it is likely that inflammation — SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION — can affect the mechanical qualities of the tendon. In other words, tendinosis is not throwing off inflammation, but is certainly affected by it. Because inflammation is caused by damaged tissues, there are a couple of things that come immediately to mind.
Not knowing exactly how they diagnosed the tendinopathy, It would not surprise me to learn that much of what the authors are referring to as tendinopathy is actually FASCIAL ADHESION. And as I’ve told you before, it doesn’t really matter as far as treating it is concerned (HERE). The other thing is that at least in America, the number one cause of tissue damage-causing inflammation is arguable our collectively poor diets.
Although the authors have nothing to say about diet in this study (they didn’t even measure blood markers of inflammation due to lack of funding), I’ve yet to see any health issue (even many of the “GENETIC DISEASES“) that cannot be helped / modified / aided / changed / improved by cleaning up one’s diet.
Writing for Practical Pain Management (Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Found Associated with Cardiovascular Disesase Risk), Thomas Ciccone, interviewing Dr, Kurt Hegmann, the study’s co-author and professor and director at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health at the University of Utah stated (I’m cherry-picking),
“Over the years, doctors have explored the theory that inflammation could be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Now, some new epidemiological evidence could provide credence to this theory. The study, adds yet another angle to the growing body of research exploring the possibility that common musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy, and lateral epicondylitis, are associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors.“
Dr. Hegmann went on to say,
“Physical activity level at work was not associated with glenohumeral joint pain or rotator cuff tendinopathy, despite the fact the cohort consisted of a diverse range of employment types, from sedentary, office-based jobs to highly physically demanding jobs requiring frequent exertion. We would think that ultimately people would show that there is some risk of rotator cuff tendinitis from job factors, but the fact that this was negative was unexpected. Oftentimes, low grade inflammation is one such explanation behind this, whereby the body’s immunological response through circulating inflammatory markers could be indicative of an increased risk for compromised cardiovascular health.“
In other words, according to Dr. H’s research, the physicality of your job doesn’t matter a fraction as much as whether you are systemically “inflamed” or not, with some of the problems mentioned being ACHILLES TENDINOPATHY, LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS (Tennis Elbow), and CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME. What have I shown you to be true of inflammation according to the most current research?
- INFLAMMATION IS THE ROOT OF ALMOST ALL HEALTH PROBLEMS: This is not only true of physical problems (see the earlier lists) but mental / emotional problems as well (for instance, both ANXIETY and DEPRESSION are considered “inflammatory”).
- INFLAMMATION ALWAYS LEADS TO SCAR TISSUE: Who cares that the medical community refers to this Scar Tissue as “FIBROSIS“. I have shown you over and over again via at least a dozen posts that inflammation always leads to Scar Tissue (HERE and HERE).
- INFLAMMATION INDUCED FIBROSIS IS AMERICA’S #1 CAUSE OF DEATH: Now we’re talking real money! For those who were not aware, America’s #1 cause of death is Fibrosis (HERE) — just ahead of medical errors (HERE).
- INFLAMMATION IS A MIGHTY BEAST, BUT A BEAST THAT CAN LARGELY BE TAMED: This, folks, is where the rubber meets the road. As Arnold said in his hit movie Predator, ‘If it bleeds we can kill it‘. In this case, all we have to do is figure out what’s driving the inflammation. While it’s true that there are any number of potentials, looking at diet first is simply going after the low-hanging fruit.
For those of you looking to get off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND and get your lives back, I’ve created a generic protocol for doing so that will help you figure out what’s driving inflammation and allow you to start taking charge of your health (HERE). And like, share or follow on FACEBOOK while you are at it!