Tendinopathy is the most prevalent tendon disorder characterised by pain and reduced function. It is most common in sports, frequent among athletes but can also affect non-athletes. The presumable consequences of this type of overuse injury can affect a person’s activity participation, physical and psychological well-being and quality of life.
The rehabilitation of tendinopathy is a time-consuming process because of the nature of the tissues that do not cope well with repetitive loading or sudden bombardment of load.
Every tissue in our body has a certain capacity to handle stress that involves day-to-day activities at home and at work and other sporting or recreational activities. If these demands outweigh the capacity, then these tendon tissues become painful and irritated.
You may think of giving it some rest for pain relief BUT once you return to your usual activities, you realise that the symptoms still persist!
It’s the area of exercise prescription that has the most support from the evidence. Our goal is to improve the tendon’s ability to handle its functional requirements during everyday life and sport. While doing this we also want to maintain long term tendon health.
We see both upper and lower limb tendon injuries including Rotator cuff tendinopathy
- Tennis elbow (lateral elbow tendinopathy)
- Golfer’s elbow (medial elbow tendinopathy)
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis (affecting tendons of the wrist)
- Gluteal tendinopathy
- Quadriceps tendinopathy
- Patellar tendinopathy
- Proximal hamstring tendinopathy
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Plantar fasciitis (we can it ‘plantar fasciopathy’)
Assessment of Tendon Pain
A proper history-taking of your problem will help us to identify – the extent of the injury problem, the barriers limiting your ability to move at home/work/socially, nature, severity and behaviour of pain, coping strategies, your concerns regarding pain, beliefs and attitudes developed over time to manage the pain, and short & long-term goals.
A detailed assessment will aim to look for any pain, weakness, stiffness or tightness felt relevant functional movements, work-related and sports-specific activities and identify the aggravating factors.
Management of Tendon Pain
At Praxis Rehab Physiotherapy, our aim is to first manage pain by reducing the aggravating factors and using different strengthening programs to progressively load up the tendon. Exercises are designed to improve the load capacity of the affected tendon and muscle during function as well as the rest of the body (kinetic chain).
We involve assessment of joint range of movement, tissue flexibility, control of movement and biomechanics to look for anything affecting the normal movement. These areas are addressed while respecting the pathology involved and monitoring pain in response to loading.
We put great emphasis on education as an essential component of rehabilitation, and attention to lifestyle factors (smoking cessation, nutrition, stress, and sleep management) to enhance outcomes.