Tendinosis

Tendinosis is characterized by tendon collagen degeneration in response to chronic overuse; when overuse is continued without giving the tendon time to heal and rest, such as with repetitive strain injury, tendinosis results. Tendinosis refers to hardening, thickening, and scarring of the tendons. This causes pain and a loss of flexibility in the joint. Tendinosis is a chronic condition that results from a tendon repeatedly suffering smaller injuries that don't heal correctly.

Tendinosis
Tendinosis
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Your Guide to Understanding Tendinosis

What is Tendinosis?

Tendinosis is a chronic condition characterized by the degeneration of a tendon's collagen, resulting from repetitive microtrauma and failed healing responses. Unlike tendonitis, which involves inflammation, tendinosis typically lacks significant inflammation and may lead to the development of structural changes within the affected tendon. This condition often presents as chronic pain, stiffness, and impaired function in the affected area.

How can Physiotherapy help treat Tendinosis?

Physiotherapists can assist in the management of tendinosis through targeted exercises and physical therapy modalities designed to improve tendon strength, flexibility, and function. They may employ techniques such as eccentric strengthening exercises, manual therapy, ultrasound, or shockwave therapy to aid in pain relief and promote tendon healing. Additionally, physiotherapists provide guidance on activity modification, ergonomic adjustments, and gradual return to activity to support the rehabilitation process.

What causes Tendinosis?

Tendinosis is typically caused by repetitive overuse or microtrauma to a tendon, often stemming from activities that involve repetitive motion, overloading, or improper body mechanics. This can lead to the breakdown of collagen in the tendon, resulting in degenerative changes rather than acute inflammation. Other contributing factors may include aging, poor vascular supply to the tendons, and inadequate rest periods during activities that stress the tendons.

What treatments might help Tendinosis?

Treatment for tendinosis aims to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, promote healing, and restore function. This often involves a combination of approaches, including rest and activity modification to reduce strain, physical therapy to strengthen the tendon and surrounding muscles, and pain management through medications or injections. Specialized exercise programs, shock wave therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery may also be considered.

Signs of Tendinosis:

The signs of tendinosis may include visible thickening of the tendon, localized swelling, and the presence of nodules or lumps along the tendon. Furthermore, decreased flexibility and mobility in the affected area, as well as the feeling of crepitus (a crackling or grating sensation) with movement.

Symptoms of Tendinosis:

The symptoms of tendinosis typically include pain and stiffness in the affected tendon, especially with movement or pressure. This is often accompanied by tenderness or soreness in the tendon area and mild swelling. Individuals may also experience a gradual onset of symptoms, which worsen over time, as well as difficulty with certain movements or activities involving the affected tendon. It's important to note that these symptoms may vary depending on the specific tendon affected and the individual's circumstances.

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When is the right time to see a Physiotherapist for Tendinosis?

The right time to see a physiotherapist for tendinosis varies depending on the individual's symptoms and response to initial treatments. If symptoms persist despite home remedies and rest, or if there is severe or debilitating pain, it's advisable to seek professional guidance from a physiotherapist. Additionally, if activities such as running exacerbate the symptoms or if there's a recurring flare-up upon resuming physical activities, consulting a physiotherapist for personalized evaluation and treatment is recommended.

Meet our Lead Registered Physiotherapist

Brittany Pereira

Brittany Pereira

Registered Physiotherapist

Registered Physiotherapist with a degree from the University of Toronto

Brittany enjoys working with patients across age groups and backgrounds to help them move better, get stronger, understand their bodies and ultimately, feel more confident. She combines her knowledge and clinical experience to best serve her patients.

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Physiotherapist Brittany Pereira working with client at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic Mississauga
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