Tendinopathy

September 18th, 2017 by LOC Team

 

What is it?

Tendinopathy is basically a fancy name for a tendon injury. These tendon injuries can occur in any tendon in the body but are most commonly found in the elbow and heel joints. Most of these injuries tend to occur near the joint as this is where most of the pressure is present. Although tendon injuries seem to happen suddenly, they are normally the result of a lot of tiny tears that occur over time. These tears may not cause any issues to begin with, although you may feel a dull pain at the site of the pain, but over time, the symptoms can get worse.

The causes

As we said above, most tendon injuries are due to wear and tear that happens gradually. This damage can be the result of overusing the joint or ageing. Anyone can suffer from a tendon injury, but people who make the same motions over and over in their daily life, sports and job are more likely to damage their tendons.

Tendon injuries can happen suddenly or over time. However, you’re more likely to get a sudden tendon injury if there has been wear over time. Basically, the tendon will have some small tears, but you won’t feel anything and then suddenly, you will experience a lot of pain.

The symptoms of Tendinopathy

Tendinopathy will normally cause pain and stiffness in the affected area. You may also experience a loss of strength. Other signs to look out for include:

  • The pain may get more serious when you use the affected tendon
  • You may have more stiffness and pain during the night or first thing in the morning
  • You may notice a crunching sound/feeling when you use the tendon
  • The area might be red, tender or swollen

Treatment

A lot of the treatments for a tendon injury can be performed at home by you. However, it is important that you go to the doctors and have your issue seen to. Without a diagnosis, you can make a condition worse when you try to treat it at home.

Once you have had the condition confirmed by your doctor, some of the treatments for tendinopathy include:

  • Rest – try your best to rest the area and avoid any of the activities that have caused you pain. As difficult as this can be, you may make the pain worse if you continue to use the area as normal. To keep your fitness, try exercising in ways that do not use the area. Once the pain stops, don’t go back to your normal exercise routine right away, this can bring the condition right back. You may need to tweak your exercise long-term if you notice it returning.
  • Applying ice – apply ice to the area 3 times a day for 10-15 minutes at a time. Try and do this for three days. Although heat packs may feel better, ice packs will help reduce the inflammation.
  • Taking painkillers – take painkillers to help with the pain and NSAIDs like ibuprofen to help with the swelling.
  • Range of motion exercises – gently move the joint affected through its full range of motion. Try to do this even during times of rest, it will strengthen the muscles around the joint and help with the pain

Gradually get back to normal activity – try to get back to your normal routine but at a lower intensity. Ensure you warm up and stretch, and warm down once you’ve finished. Start slow and gradually build up to your normal level of activity. If it starts to hurt, stop and apply ice.