That might not be a tendonitis: Why tendon pain doesn’t always mean stop moving

05/10/16 3:32 pm

In this new Google age, patients often present to their primary care physician or physical therapist with a good idea of what is going on to cause their pain. When a person is experiencing pain in or around a tendon that is irritated by activity and may be affecting their performance, they often come to the conclusion that they have tendonitis, an inflammatory condition of a tendon. In reality, a tendinosis is much more likely, but why does this matter?

A tendonitis is an acute, inflammatory condition of tendon often caused by too much loading or improper body mechanics. In the initial phases of addressing a tendonitis, rest, ice and anti-inflammatories are essential and the symptoms will often resolve rather quickly. Meanwhile, a tendinosis is a long term, degenerative condition of a tendon that is treated with appropriate therapeutic exercise, soft tissue work, and correction of movement patterns; NOT by stopping activity! This is important because many people will stop their favorite activities when they start experiencing stubborn tendon pain when the real solution is better movement.

Questioning whether the pain you’re experiencing is an –osis or –itis? While it is not the role of this blog to provide diagnostic tools, our goal is to inform our readers that pain does not always have to mean stopping your favorite activities. The best place to figure it out is with a physical therapist who can evaluate your symptoms and help you do what’s needed to keep you in the game. A physical therapist will work closely with your physician and other health and fitness providers such as massage therapist and personal trainer to help ensure the best treatment plan to get you back to the activities you love.

 

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