Tendon Pain - Where More Exercise Is Better

Tendinopathy is one of the most poorly managed condition. It can virtually affect anywhere in the body from your biceps or triceps to your hamstrings, gluts, patella, and down right to your Achilles. You probably have also heard terms such as tendinitis and tendinosis thrown away but what exactly are they? Is there a difference? Despite being a widely researched and discussed topic, a quick google search can end up taking you down a deep dark rabbit hole of conflicting research, opinion, and debate. In this post, we attempt to provide you with a brief overview of tendinopathy with the help of the most up-to-date, valid and relevant research.

Knee Pain

There has been a lot of media coverage questioning common, standard medical procedures. The issue in concern is that these procedures’ effectiveness are not supported by research data.

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Tendon pathology is a widely researched and discussed topic, and a quick google search can end up taking you down a deep dark rabbit hole of conflicting research, opinion, and debate.

Learn More

The role of tendons is to transfer the mechanical force of a contracting muscle to the bone for the purpose of producing movement.

What You Need to Know

To start off, a tendon is a fibrous band of connective tissue that connects muscle to bone. The role of tendons is to transfer the mechanical force of a contracting muscle to the bone for the purpose of producing movement. There are over 600 muscle-tendon units in the body and all of which have the potential to develop into a tendinopathy.

Tendon injuries typically occur in one of three locations:

  • Insertion – the point where the tendon joins to a bone
  • Mid-tendon (non-insertional) – at a point along the tendon
  • Musculotendinous junction – point of where the tendon arises from a muscle

Tendinopathy, tendinosis, and tendinitis mostly sound the same. But what is the difference? To avoid confusing patients any further, the preferred diagnostic term for any conditions relating to the tendon is referred to as tendinopathy. Because it doesn’t matter if you have tendinosis or tendinitis! Your treatment – by best evidence standards – DOES NOT change. If you like to know the precise definitions and the differences between each of them, read on:

Tendinopathy: A general term used to describe any type of conditions involving the tendon. It can be characterised by pain, swelling, impaired movement or function, or any combination. There is no exact cause, hence the use of the term to encompass other tendon pathologies as a whole. Current best-evidence suggest an overuse injury which leads to inadequate tendon repair and predisposes to microtears and degeneration. Common sites include elbow (tennis or golfer’s elbow) and knee (jumper’s or runner’s knee).

Tendinitis: Not to be confused with tendinosis (see below). The inflammation (‘itis’) of the tendon sheath, not the tendon itself. It is usually an acute presentation caused by prolonged, abnormal use or loading of a tendon. The inflammation in the sheath can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling and redness, and severe pain during tendon movement.

Tendinosis: Usually resolved for chronic tendon conditions due to degeneration in the absence of inflammation.

Tenosynovitis: Inflammation of the synovium (fluid-filled sheath surrounding the tendon).

To be absolutely clear, tendinopathy does not improve with rest. The pain may subside but once you return to activity, the pain will most certainly return. This is because rest does not change the load tolerance of your tendon!

Exercise remains the most evidence-based approach to manage tendinopathies. While it may be sore and tender during the initial stages, your chiropractor will change your exercise load to maximize your outcomes. Tendons have to be progressively loaded over time so they can develop the tolerance needed to live your day-to-day life.

While we actively do not advocate rest, some load-modification may be required during recovery to help the pain you are currently experiencing settle. Manual therapies such as IASTM and Dry Needling may be utilized to help with the pain.

Do you know Square One is the only chiropractic clinic in Singapore to offer Chiropractic Adjustments, Dry Needling, and Myofascial Cupping? Our revolutionary functional program combines manual therapy with rehabilitation so you can get all the treatments you need under one roof. Don’t let your body suffer in silence! Avoiding treatment can cause unnecessary aches and pain for many years to come. At Square One, we make it our priority to help you live a full, functional, and happy life. To experience the best chiropractic care in Singapore, book a consultation appointment with us today.