We can help treat your tendinopathies and return you to your optimum function and fitness!
What is tendinopathy?
Traditionally, pain in and around the tendons has been referred to as tendonitis, which infers an inflammatory process occurring. Treatments have typically been focused around the fact that it was thought to be inflammatory in nature and included rest, as well as the use of NSAIDs and corticosteroid injections. The latest research suggests that it is not an inflammatory, but more so an overuse condition where the makeup of the tendon changes in that it has a reduced ability to transmit force and thus correlates with discomfort.
Tendons and ligament’s oxygen consumption is 7.5 times lower than that of your muscles. This is an important feature as it allows them to carry loads and maintain tension for a long time, however, this means that they can take a longer period of time to heal.
In order to appropriately rehabilitate a tendinopathy, there must be a period of relative rest, where the aggravating activities are limited/modified for a specified time period (the length of time will be determined by the Physiotherapist after an appropriate initial assessment). During this time, there are a number of strategies to implement and these include:
- Isometric exercises (the muscle/tendon is contracting but not moving through range) – for pain relief
- Eccentric exercises (the muscle/tendon is contracting and lengthening – e.g. if you were lowering a dumbbell using your bicep muscle) – for reorganisation of the tendon structure
- Strengthening the muscles above and below the tendon in question – this can be a nice way to strengthen without too much discomfort and it is important that the areas of the body above and below have appropriate strength and conditioning in order to assist the tendon in attenuating forces through the body
Longer term management: Your Target Physiotherapist will develop a graded loading exercise program which is key to the longer term resolution of your tendinopathy. This is because your tendons like to be loaded in a gradual way and can take longer than muscles to see change.