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Tendinitis- What is it? What can I do about it?


Tendon (the attachment of muscle to bone) + itis (the process of inflammation)= The inflammation of the attachment site of muscle to bone.

Tendons function to provide the linkage of muscle to bone and ensures that active muscle contraction results in joint movement, and are vital for normal movement and function.

If a healthy tendon is to provide normal movement, the presence of tendinitis suggests that there is faulty movement at that particular tendon, resulting in pain, inflammation, and breakdown of that tendon. If this process continues to occur overtime, it can become a chronic, debilitating injury, at which it can be termed tendinopathy. Both tendinitis and tendinopathy are regarded as overuse injuries, meaning that they don’t result from one particular injury, rather they result from a number of small injuries occurring to the tendon over time.

Movement breakdown can occur due to lack of normal joint movement, strength imbalances, and poor control of a specific movement. As an example: Patient A has knee pain when running due to tight ITB and weak glute musculature. The lack of muscular strength and control at the hip results in excessive forces being placed at the knee, causing overuse, poor movement, and tissue injury at the patellar tendon. If patient A does not address the faulty movement at the hip, the knee pain will not be improved.

* Who gets Tendinitis/Tendinopathy? *

Any person that has a body that moves can get tendinitis, but it most commonly occurs in active individuals and athletes. If either of these populations have movement breakdown at any joint, tendinitis can start to form as a warning signal saying “hey, this joint is not moving correctly and you are over stressing this tendon, fit it!”.

* What are some types of tendinitis/tendinopathy? *

Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medical epicondylitis (golfers elbow), Achilles tendonitis, Jumpers knee (patellar tendonitis), gluteus medius tendinitis are some of the most commonly heard of tendinitis injuries, all of which result from excessive, poor movement biomechanics.

* I have tendinitis/tendinopathy, so what should I do to fix it? *

You can heat/ice/ointments are great for short term relief, but if you don’t fix the faulty movement that is causing the tendinitis, the problem will not be completely solved. The best approach is to find where your body is breaking down and fix that movement for near complete recovery.

A few tips to help with you tendinitis:

1.) find the activity that is causing it and take a few days rest to let the tendon recover.

2.) Ice the region to decrease the pain and inflammation for short term relief.

3.) Solve the issue by identifying the poor movement that is causing the tendinitis. We are here to help you we can identify the poor movement, give you specific exercises to fix the movement, and work on the muscles and joints around the area to improve pain and function.

We are here to help you getting back to doing what you love, whether that be running, skiing, hockey, pickle ball or golf, and to provide you with the tools to recover from injury, and prevent the injury from coming back again.

Any particular injury you want to hear about? Send us a message or email us with anything you want to hear!