Tendonopathy / Tendonitis

Treatment to help with Tendonopathy / Tendonitis in Loughborough & Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Although tendonopathy and tendonitis have very similar symptoms, the two conditions differ slightly. A tendonopathy is when there is a degeneration of the collagen protein which forms the tendon (strong rope like tissue connecting muscle to bone). Tendonitis on the other hand is when the tendon itself becomes inflamed. As always, there is always a cause for the tendon to become damaged or inflamed. It it is not down to a trauma causing the damage, then there must be a fascial restriction or joint maltracking for inflammation and damage to occur. With a combination of investigatory therapy to remove restrictions and a rehab program to stabilise the joints, these conditions can be greatly improved if not eradicated. 

Tendonitis vs Tendonopathy

 

Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. It can happen when a person overuses or injures a tendon. It is often linked to an acute injury, where trauma to the joint or tendon itself creates a development of inflammation. Although any tendon can develop tendonitis, it is most prevalent in the shoulders, knees and heels/ankles.

In addition to trauma, repetitive strain can develop a tendonitis if there is a maltracking joint, or a lack of stability in the joint through the movement demanded of it; such as in certain sports. If left untreated, or the movement which is aggravating the tendon is continued, the tendonitis can develop into a tendon strain (rupture or tear of the tendon) or a tendonpathy. 

Tendonopathy is the more severe of the two conditions. It is when there is a breakdown of the collagen protein which forms the tendon itself. There are mixed views on which of the two conditions comes first, as sometimes a patient can have a tendonopathy without symptoms, but a tendonopathy requires a little more physical therapy in order to regain the quality of the tendon tissue itself. 

Causes

 

Tendonitis and tendonopathy are often caused by an overuse of, or a sudden stress on a tendon. A lack of stability of a joint, or lack of muscle tone can contribute to the development of a tendonopathy, as well as aging. Both conditions can occur across all of the tendons, but depending on the activity involved, there will be some areas of the body that are more susceptible. 

 

You may be more likely to develop a tendinitis if you participate in certain sports that involve repetitive motions or plyometric activity, especially with bad technique. Such sports include:​

  • Basketball

  • Golf

  • Running

  • Swimming

  • Tennis

Tendonitis and Tendonopathy treatments at JBE Sports Therapy
Tendon treatment at JBE Sports Therapy

Treatment

 

Like any injury, both tendonitis and tendonopathy respond well to RICE treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), however there are also physical treatments as well as rehabilitation that can work really well to improve / remove the conditions.

It is imperative to get the joint function of the affected tendon improved, whether that is removing fascial restrictions which are creating maltracking or improving the stability of the joint itself. Tendon's don't have very good blood flow, so in addition to ensuring good joint mechanics, deep friction work can help encourage healing of the tendon. 

 

Tendon's also respond well to loading in a controlled manner. Isometric exercises (static contraction against an immoveable load) can not only have an analgesic affect (pain relief), but can also assist in improving the tissue quality of the tendon (help with the tendon degeneration). This should be carried out under guidance.  

Preventions

When a tendon is 'angry' there are things that can help improve the symptoms but also act as a prevention for future flair ups.

  • Avoiding activities that place excessive stress on the joints and tendons is the first point of call. Try to avoid long periods of strain on the joints if it is causing pain or if the joints / tendons are not quite up to it.

  • Cross training can help you keep active whilst altering the load going through the tendons. Try different exercises or sport whilst going through the rehabilitation of your tendons. 

  • Bad technique in an activity is a really quick fix to help the tendons. Consulting a professional or a coach for the activity you are trying to do can work wonders on limiting the stress or loading. 

  • Stretching is a big saviour. It is often areas further up the body which can contribute to joint maltracking, so stretching the hips and spine can help the other appendages. Following exercise or activity, spend some time to focus on the tensions in your body.

  • Warming up and preparing the body for activity or loading can make a big difference. Strengthening the joints can also take the load off the tendons.

 

Tendonopathy treated at JBE Sports Therapy