A physiotherapist treating a woman for chronic arm pain at Free2move Physiotherapy, Pilates and Feldenkrais North Perth

Tendinitis or Tendinosis

Tendinitis and Tendinosis are distinctly different from each other and often misdiagnosed.

Tendinitis is caused by an inflammatory process. It’s often the result of repetitive strain on a tendon from overuse. Less often it’s caused by a specific event or injury. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory medications and rest.

If left untreated for 2 or 3 months it may progress to become tendinosis.

Tendinosis is thought to result from micro-trauma to a tendon resulting in degenerative changes and failure to heal. There may be weakness of the tendon’s structure, increasing the risk of rupture. It is more difficult to treat than tendinits. Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections are usually not helpful. They may even worsen the problem.

Physiotherapy Treatment for Tendinitis / Tendinosis

Early diagnosis and treatment from an experienced Physiotherapist can make a huge difference to the outcome. At Free2Move we almost always prescribe exercises, because we believe that exercise and movement are essential to the long-term healing process. The right type and level of exercise helps improve circulation and stimulates the healing process. Exercises with put too much stress on the tendon could cause further damage.

Gentle stretches, self-massage techniques and eccentric strengthening exercises are often very helpful. Taping with stretchy ‘kinesiotape’ such as Rocktape helps reduce the load on the tendon so it can heal. Trigger point dry needling (a form of acupuncture) is often effective, as is Low Level Laser therapy.

We can also advise about how you can improve your ergonomics to reduce future strain on the area. It’s all part of our approach, which is to empower you to help yourself get better, rather than to become dependent on long-term treatment.

Examples of tendinitis which respond well to Physiotherapy treatment are Achilles Tendinitis, Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis), Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis), Plantar Fascitis (causing foot pain), Patellar Tendinitis (causing knee pain) and Supraspinatus Tendinitis (causing shoulder pain).

Read More about Physiotherapy treatments offered at Free2Move