Pain coming from one of our tendons is a common condition seen in the clinic. Common examples include Achilles tendinopathy, Patella tendinopathy, Rotator Cuff tendinopathy, and Tennis Elbow.
Tendinitis? Tendinosis? Tendinopathy? Which one is it?
Generally speaking, tendinitis and tendinosis are out of date terms. Tendinitis implies a strong inflammatory component while tendinosis implies a degenerative/break down component. Modern research has found it is not this clear cut and reality is somewhere in the middle, on a sliding scale. Consequently, tendinopathy is now the most used term as it just denotes there is a problem with the tendon.
How do I fix it?
Management of tendons has changed a lot in recent years. Gone are the days of resting and stretching. Rest will generally have no effect and will likely make you weaker. Current research has confirmed tendons respond best to heavy exercise. That is, we want to load the tendon hard with heavy, slow, weight work.
So I don’t have to rest?
If possible we want to continue our current exercise at a manageable level. A good rule of thumb is that your pain settles back to normal levels within 24 hours following activity. If it’s not settling, you will need to reduce your activity (but not completely).
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, tendons are slow. If it is an advanced case that has been present for a long time, expect it to take multiple months. Throughout this progress you will progress from light weight resistance to heavy weight and eventually add in speed to your training.
The most difficult part of treating a tendon injury is deciding where to begin. Progressively challenging ourselves while listening to our body is very important.
If you are unsure or have any questions, please contact us for an appointment.