Tendon Problems including Tendinitis & Tendinopathy
Are you feeling pain and burning near your joints?
Read on to get the lowdown on tendon pain, including tendinitis and tendinopathy.
Do you feel a change in strength and flexibility during everyday activities at the elbow, shoulder, knee or ankle?
If YES, you may have a tendon issue. Tendon issues and recovery can be confusing and complicated. Book now to see an Osteopath to talk about your issue.
What’s the difference between ligaments and tendons?
- Around your joints, you have a lot of muscles that are attached by cords of fibres (tendons) to your bones
- The role of your tendons is to transfer the force generated by your muscles through your joints and bones
- Your tendons also act as a spring to store and release energy to make your movements (running, playing golf/tennis) more effective
- Whereas ligaments are the a strong band of connective tissue that connect the end of one bone with another.
Clear as mud?
So, how can you injure your tendons?
Technically you can strain your tendons however this primarily occurs for high impact and trauma seen in athletes. More often, over-use or repetitive movements cause inflammation in your tendons resulting in that ache or throb that is close to, but not quite in, your joint – Ouch!
Tendon issues can feel like they last a lifetime and can flare up at moments when you least expect it – When you are trying to sleep, workout or complete that project for work. For this reason, the impact of ongoing tendon issues can have wider effects on daily activities – Lack of sleep or productivity at work can be the result of tendon pain. And because they result in joint and muscle weakness, tendon issues can take time to heal.
Have you heard the words tendinitis or tendinopathy?
Both of these issues are painful regardless of the diagnosis however the terms are used by medical professionals to describe and know which structure is involved.
- Tendinitis = The tendons attached to your muscles and bones have micro-tears due to overload or sudden force on the tendon (e.g. lifting, running or pushing).
- Tendinosis (tendinopathy) = A degeneration of a specific element (collagen) within the tendon that often occurs in repetitive movements (e.g. wrist pain for office worker and elbow pain for tennis players) (1,2).
New research is developed everyday about the body and our understanding of tendon issues is evolving. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to know which treatment is better than the other for tendon issues (3,4). So far, research shows that exercise has the best impact on tendon issues (5,6).
However it can be difficult to move or exercise when you are experiencing pain. See an Osteopath to complete a physical assessment and receive an individually tailored pain management plan.
How can our Osteopath work with you and your tendon issues?
Your Osteopath will complete a physical assessment that may help you understand your issue and the severity of your pain. Then a tendon rehabilitation program is developed with you in order to fit your lifestyle and your work demands.
Osteopaths cannot give the same tendon-related program to everyone as individual circumstances are unique. Tendon issues are not simple to fix; it takes time to heal a tendon and you are better off with the right program and treatment than just waiting for the pain to go away.
Osteopathy may assist you by using manual therapy and exercise programs to decrease your pain and enhance your recovery process (7,8). Acupuncture and dry needling may also assist to decrease tendon pain (9,10). At Mana Health Clinic, your Osteopath will use a combination of approaches to target your tendon issue and will assist you every step of the way, to ensure that you can achieve your health journey goals.