What is tendinopathy?
A variety of painful conditions that occur in and around tendons in response to overuse. Tendons are rope-like tissues that attach muscle to bone. For example, your achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. Some of the most common tendons where we see tendinopathy would be: achilles (heel), patellar (knee)and rotator cuff (shoulder). With overuse, tiny tears can be build up within the tendon.
What are the causes of tendinopathy?
Usually it is caused by an overuse of one of your tendons from repetitive actions. This could include participating in sports with a lot of jumping or overhead movements. Sometimes incorrect training might be the cause. For example, this could include increasing your training too quickly, lack of a warm-up or cool-down or not allowing your muscles to recover enough between workouts. Simple tasks like gardening, shovelling, painting or typing could lead to a tendinopathy.
What signs or symptoms might I have?
You could experience pain, weakness, tendon thickening, stiffness, swelling and reduced function. Reduced function means that your daily activities (work or leisure) might be challenging. Relatively easy activities like doing stairs, taking a walk, reaching overhead, grasping objects or typing at a computer might become difficult.
Who might be at risk for developing tendinopathy?
-people who do repetitive tasks
-those with reduced strength or mobility
-certain medical conditions or medications might put you at risk
-the condition becomes more likely as we get older
How can physiotherapy help?
Your therapist would first do a full assessment of your condition. Then they would discuss a treatment plan specifically for you since everyone's presentation is unique. Education about managing your condition and following your treatment plan is very important. Early diagnosis of your condition might help to heal it more quickly, before it becomes chronic.
Physiotherapy treatment could include any of the following
:-manual therapy, mobility work, heat/ice, rest if appropriate, eccentric strengthening exercises, taping, a home exercise program, focused education and activity pacing.
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