Overuse Injuries: Tendinopathy
Research indicates that 1 in 10 people will experience tendon pain at some point in their life.
Have you ever developed nagging heel pain after starting a new running program? How about persistent shoulder pain after spending the weekend gardening?
Muscle soreness after doing something different is normal, however, if you’re experiencing any of the following you may have developed a tendinopathy:
- Throbbing, aching pain at rest (often at night).
- Stiffness on waking in the morning that eases off as you get moving.
- Puffiness or swelling at the site of pain.
What is Tendinopathy?
Tendinopathy is a common condition caused by an overload applied to a tendon, most commonly affecting the ankle, hip, knee, and shoulder. Aside from the above characteristics, tendinopathy often begins after one or more of the following:
- Sudden increase in frequency, intensity, or duration of training (gym, running, etc).
- Completion of an activity that you don’t do often (long walks, gardening, painting, home maintenance).
Every individual tolerates load differently depending on age, fitness level, and exposure to load. Sometimes when we suddenly increase the load applied to the body, we exceed the capacity of our muscles and tendons, which can lead to the development of tendinopathy.
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, physiotherapy can be helpful in providing the right management to reduce pain and help you return to normal daily activities. Physiotherapists are skilled in diagnosis of tendinopathies, using targeted questioning and functional assessment to identify the cause, site and severity of your symptoms.
Once a diagnosis has been achieved, your physiotherapist will provide and explanation of your condition, and start you on a loading program that is individualised to your symptoms and goals. Your physiotherapist will also provide education about prevention to ensure that you can return to your daily activities without worrying that your symptoms will return.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, book in to see a physiotherapist for an individualised loading program and advice about load management to prevent further issues.
Written By: Alex Balnaves