Tendinopathy is the overarching term for pain and inflammation of a tendon and it’s associated structures. Tendinitis specifically refers to inflammation of the tendon, and tenosynovitis to inflammation of the tendon sheath. It is almost impossible to determine which structure is irritated (and they often both are as they are so closely related) with clinical tests or diagnostic imaging, but fear not – the treatment protocol is the same regardless!
Repetitive movement (overuse) is the primary cause of tendinopathy – think throwing/pitching, running, hammering, etc.
– Training errors.
– Inefficient movement patterns.
– Weakness up the kinematic chain (shoulder for elbow, hip for knee, etc.).
– Poor soft tissue or joint mobility.
– Pain over a tendon.
– Pain with movement.
– Pain worsens with repetitive movement.
– Joint stiffness.
At Home Diagnostic Tests
– Palpation of affected tendon.
At Home Care
– Avoid irritating activity.
– Alteration of training practices.
When to Seek Help
If symptoms persist for more than one week or prevent you from participating in your normal activities, please see your physical therapist.
Inspired Athletx Treatment
With tendinopathy, the tendon is typically the victim, and weakness, inefficient movement patterns, overuse, or stiffness tend to be the culprits. Localized treatment to the tendon (scraping, electrical stimulation, cupping, ultrasound), may (or may not) improve symptoms for a short period of time, but will not provide long term relief. Treatment at Inspired Athletx includes manual therapy to improve the soft tissue and joint stiffness that may be contributing to the tendinopathy, as well as short term pain relief. This reduction in pain and stiffness will support active exercise for the weakness and inefficient movement patterns that contribute to the development of tendinopathy. Your physical therapist will also teach you about training errors that are perpetuating the tendinopathy cycle.