Tendinopathy is something I regularly see in the clinic and I can help people to manage their symptoms. Tendons are made from collagen fibers and are flexible, tough, cord-like tissue which connects your muscles to your bones. Tendons help move your limbs and transfer load that is generated through the muscles to help your joints move. There are two points to a tendon: origin (musculotendinous), where the muscle connects to a tendon and the insertion (osteotendinous junction), where the tendon connects to the bone.
What is Tendinopathy?
Tendinopathy is often caused by overuse such as a repetitive motion or a sudden load/stress on the tendon. In some cases aging and muscle weakness play a contributing factor in the development of tendinopathy.
Tendinopathy can affect any tendon within the body but are mainly found in:
- Achilles tendons (back of the heel/lower leg)
- Patellar tendons (under the kneecap)
- Rotator cuff tendons (shoulder)
- Hamstring tendons (back of the thigh)
What symptoms could you be experiencing?
As mentioned before, repetitive motion can cause pain on the tendon. Pain doesn’t start overnight; it is often a gradual increase in discomfort/pain. The tendon will gradually become inflamed which will give you plenty of time to retrieve treatment before it gets worse. Often you’ll feel a dull ache or at times a stabbing sensation. In the mornings, your tendon will usually be stiff and painful, which may sometimes ease with movement.
Healing time frames
Research has shown that if caught early, treatment can take between 6-10 weeks for a full recovery, but in some chronic (long-term) cases it can take between 3-12 months. This condition does not improve with rest, pain may decrease overtime but often returns once you return back to the activity. Rest does not increase the tolerance of the load through the tendon. Tendinopathy responds to exercise, but often at a slow pace. The key to the treatment of tendinopathy is patience; making sure that the exercises are correct and progressing appropriately, there are no cheats or shortcuts.
How can I help?
Throughout my career as a sports therapist, I have assessed, diagnosed and treated multiple cases of tendinopathy and been able to get individuals back to the activities they enjoy pain free. Internet searches for tendinopathy can be unreliable and misleading. Old research still suggests rest is a good form of treatment for tendinopathy, but it has been proven that gradual increases in the correct, loaded exercises with hands on treatment is the best way forward.
Here at the clinic I offer many treatments to help you. After your assessment, I will be able to create a treatment plan designed for you. I offer many different treatments to aid you on your road to recovery including: rehabilitation, laser therapy and acupuncture.
Please contact us to book an appointment or call us on 01452 883232.
Author: Ben Trebble