What is Tendinopathy And How To Treat It

Have you suddenly increased your workload?⁠ Has this resulted in a deep dull ache in your muscle?⁠⁠ Are you experiencing tenderness over the muscle, and the nearby bones?⁠ ⁠Is the pain being reproduced every time you use that muscle? ⁠Can you identify mild swelling? ⁠ ⁠You may have a Tendinopathy!⁠

What is Tendinopathy?

Tendons are strong, ropey tissues containing collagen protein that connect your muscles to your bones. When the collagen in a tendon breaks down, it can cause severe pain and reduce flexibility and range of motion. Tendinopathy is one of the most common complaints we treat in the clinic so here are some tips on what causes it and how to treat it. 

Overload and Overuse

Overuse and overload are terms often lined with Tendinopathy. This is because, when we ask our tendons to perform a task that isn’t strong enough to perform, we risk developing a Tendinopathy.

Forms of Overuse and Overload can include:

  • Increased  frequency and/or intensity 
  • Performing new exercises 
  • Use of different surfaces 
  • Return to routine after a lay-off

Common Tendinopathies 

For the everyday person, we may have heard the following injuries:

  • Tennis Elbow 🎾
  • Golfers Elbow 🏌️‍♂️
  • Swimmers Shoulder 🏊‍♀️
  • Jumper’s Knee⛹️‍♂️
  • Achilles Tendinopathy 🚴‍♀️

Symptoms of Tendinopathy:

  • Pain and tenderness typically at site of joint 
  • Aggravated with use 
  • Relieved with rest 
  • Morning stiffness
  • Throbbing at night 
  • Feeling of decreased strength

As for why you are experiencing pain, the research does not yet know!

What research does tell us though, is that the pain is localized as well as load related, meaning, the frequency of exercise and the intensity when exercising.

Where to from here?

You have all the signs and symptoms of a Tendinopathy, and the pain is beginning to interrupt your day-to-day life. What do you do? 🤔

Exercises for Tendinopathy

The benefits of exercises, in particular isometric exercises, for Tendinopathies was studied by ‘Rio BJSM’ in 2015.

The results were:

  • Decreased pain immediately after, lasting for at least 45minutes 
  • Decreased excess motor inhibition
  • Increased muscle strength by 19%

This means that performing isometric in the initial stages of injury will reduce your pain and begin to rebuild the strength required to progress!

Isometric exercises involve muscle contractions, in the absence of joint and muscle movement. Meaning, you are tensing your muscle and holding it against constant resistance.

⁠ Isometric exercises are an example on the type of exercises you can expect to receive from your Osteopath.⁠ They involve muscle contractions, in the absence of joint and muscle movement.⁠ Meaning, you are contracting your muscle and holding it against a constant resistance!⁠

Osteopathic Treatment for Tendinopathy

With a Tendinopathy comes an increased presence of swelling, and often inflammation.

This brings with it a reduction of fresh blood flow to the area, which is necessary for the tendon to heal.

Osteopaths can help resolve this issue, as they promote blood flow through:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Joint motion 

As Osteopaths, we are also trained in testing your tendon and muscle strength. This is important information to gain, as it allows you to know when you are ready to progress to the next phase of your rehabilitation. Ensuring that you do not go too hard too early, and further aggravate the area.

If you require treatment or advice, book in with one of our osteopaths or give the clinic a call.