Learn something new every day More Info... by email
Tendinopathy is an general term that might refer to tendinosis or tendonitis and sometimes both. In tendinosis a person has minute tears in the affected tendon. Usually tendonitis has a great deal of swelling in tendons that could result in pain. To confuse matters, when doctors describe tendinopathy, it’s not a condition that means the tendons have swollen significantly. In any way that it occurs, and it may affect many tendons in the body, it is painful, needs treatment and will require some recovery time.
Typically tendinopathy occurs in one tendon only, and this could be near a knee, on the foot, around a shoulder, or in other places. Pain and symptoms tend to be limited to a specific area, however. The affected area of the body may feel stiff, and pain might occur whenever that area of the body is used. Some people note the area throbs at night and is especially uncomfortable in the morning. There could be some minor inflammation, redness, or a feeling of extra warmth present too.
These symptoms could be associated with many different injuries that don’t even involve the tendons. The best solution to this is to get diagnosis of tendinopathy confirmed by seeing a doctor, particularly when pain persists for more than a day. A physician may gently examine the area, find out if any activity could have prompted the injury, and possibly order scans like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized axial tomography (CAT), or simply an x-ray, to look for signs of injury or swelling.
Should tendinopathy be diagnosed, doctors might have people use ice packs several times a day, and combine this with rest of the affected area. If pain is not too significant doctors can teach exercises that may help with muscle stiffness. Sometimes, a doctor wants a patient to wait a few days before beginning these. As pain decreases people can gradually return to normal activities but it can sometimes take a few months before the pain is totally gone. Engaging in activities means going slow to make sure not to further injure the tendon.
Many people wonder how they can avoid tendinopathy. The condition may occur in very fit people who exercise frequently or it might happen to those who aren’t very active. It may not always be possible to avoid tendinopathy, but the likelihood of developing it could be reduced by a few things.
It’s important to warm up before exercising, as this puts less stress on tendons. Another tip can be making sure to do activities in the correct positions, since repeated “wrong movements” could result in small tendon tears. Those who are less active should build slowly to more intensive exercise, paying attention along the way to the body’s cues that something may not be right.