Joint Preservation Blog

January 19, 2009

Nutrition to Heal Rotator Cuff Injury

Nutrition to heal a rotator cuff injury is all about the building blocks for repair and their helpers.  What are the building blocks?  Collagen and GAG’s (hyaluronic acid for instance) are good places to strat.  Foods that are rich in collogen include Jello.  Vitamins that help support collogen include vitamin C.  Other building blocks include glucosamine and chondrotin sulfate, although these are a bit more joint focused.  One of the big problems with rotator cuff repair is often there is limited blood supply to this area, so getting any nutrients to it can be tough.  Activity can help in this process.  Gentle rotator cuff exercises can help.  How do you know if it’s healed?  Take your arm and place it out to your side with the eblow extended and point your thumb to the ground.  This stresses the rotator cuff.  if you can’t do this or it hurts, then it’s not healed.  Is there a way to get it to heal without sugery, yes newer non-surgical procedures are available (click link).

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December 15, 2008

supplements that help prevent torn tendons

Supplements that help prevent torn tendons usually involve various components of tendons such as collagen.  Collagen is a natural substance that acts as the mortar for the brick building blocks (cells) that make up much of the body.  Taking more of this collagen “mortar” may help provide better masonry building blocks in areas like tendons.  In addition, another major component of tendons and ligament repair is Vitamin C or ascorbic acid.  Vitamin C is a catalyst for this repair and building up of collagen.  Think of it as the food for the brick mason so he can lay more cellular bricks to make more tendon and ligament using the collagen mortar.  Another major tendon and joint component are GAG’s (glycoaminosglycan’s).  These are the chemicals that help to hold onto water and help provide elasticity to tendons, ligaments, and joints.  GAG’s include glucosamine and hyaluronic acid.  Another major strategy for preventing torn tendons is activity.  Activity helps to build up tendons and ligaments and make them stronger.  In this case, walking the mall may not be enough activity, but walking to the mall is more like the kind of activity levels needed.  Once a tendon tears, avoiding surgery should be the goal.  Sewing a partial tendon tear may make the tendon too tight and cause other problems.  Non-surgical methods to heal the tendon can include prolotherapy or adult stem cell injections.  Prolotherapy involves injecting substances to cause a brief inflammatory healing reaction to try and get the torn tendon to heal.  Injecting stem cells into the tendon provides more building blocks or bricks in our mason example above.

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