7 Tendinopathy Facts You Need to Know
Updated: Apr 27
Tendinopathy is a common issue for athletes and in many occupational settings. The recommended “best practices” for tendinopathy management has changed over the years.
Tendinopathy can affect any tendon but the most common areas include the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle and heel.
Here are 7 facts about tendinopathy you need to know when managing patients.
1) Rest does not improve tendinopathy – rest can settle pain but returning to activity is often painful again because of decreased tolerance to tendon loading.
2) Although there are some inflammatory changes involved in tendinopathy, it is not considered to be a classic inflammatory response. Anti inflammatories may help if you have very high pain levels but does NOT provide good long term improvements.
3) Exercise is the most evidence based treatment for tendinopathy – tendons need to be loaded progressively for development of greater load tolerance required by patients for day-to-day activities. In most cases, tendinopathy will not improve without this vital load stimulus.
4) Modifying load is important in settling tendon pain and often involves short term reduction of abusive tendon load.
5) Pathology on imaging is NOT equal to pain – pathology is common in people without pain. ‘Severe pathology’ or even ‘tears’ on imaging DOES NOT necessarily mean a poorer outcome. Most treatments need to be aimed towards improving pain and function, rather than tissue healing.
6) Cortisone injections may provide short term pain relief however multiple injections in particular should be avoided, as this is often associated with a poorer outcome, cartilage volume loss, tendon weakening and increased development of osteoporosis.
7) There are no short cuts. Tendinopathy responds very slowly to therapy and you need to have patience. Please try and refrain from ‘short cuts’ treatment like injections and surgery.
We understand that ongoing pain and dysfunction can be very stressful and affects your quality of life. It is a process and does require time (longer than you think) to recover properly.
Physio Physique are experts at improving tendonitis/tendinopathy in the long term. If you or anyone you know who is suffering, please contact us as soon as possible.
Thank you for taking the time to read our blogs.
We hope that you find the information beneficial for your journey of recovery.
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