Recovering from tendinopathy

Tendinopathy describes an overuse injury of the tendon, which results in pain and swelling. There are over 600 muscle-tendon units in the human body and tendinopathy can occur in any of them. 

Read on to learn more about what tendinopathy is, what causes it, risks factors associated with it, and how shockwave therapy in Twickenham can help speed up your recovery. 

Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this blog are helpful when recovering from tendinopathy, for specific advice and guidance, please contact a physiotherapist for a professional assessment.

What are tendons?

Tendons are rope-like tissues in your body that attach muscle to bone. Your tendons and bones move when your muscles contract and relax. For example, your Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscle to your heel bone and allows your ankle to move. 

Understanding tendinopathy

Tendinopathy often occurs due to repetitive activities. It is characterised by pain, a burning sensation, swelling, tendon thickening, stiffness and reduced function of the tendon. These symptoms can interfere with your ability to play sports but can also affect your daily life, making it harder to move around your home. 

Causes for developing tendinopathy 

The exact cause of tendinopathy is unknown but it’s believed to be linked to multiple factors. It’s often associated with a lack of flexibility, lack of strength, high-intensity training, changing your training regime too quickly, muscle imbalance which affects your biomechanics and, of course, increasing age.

It isn’t just athletes who develop tendinopathy.

Repetitive activities that can cause a person to develop tendinopathy include: 

  • typing
  • gardening
  • painting
  • scrubbing
  • shovelling
  • woodworking.

Risk factors for tendinopathy

In addition to repetitive activities, playing sports and any physical demands of your work, there are several other health factors that can affect your tendon and its ability to heal: 

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • inflammatory conditions
  • menopause
  • older age
  • certain medications.

Recovering from tendinopathy 

In general, tendons respond slowly to treatment. How quickly they heal can depend on some of the factors mentioned above, as well as how often you exercise them. 

Although each case is different, mild tendon problems can improve over a 12 week period. That said, you will likely experience good days and bad days on your recovery journey. Patience and consistent therapeutic exercises are crucial when recovering from tendinopathy. 

Strength and conditioning programmes, massage therapy, movement exercises and shockwave therapy can all help speed up your recovery. 

How can shockwave therapy help

Shockwave therapy is considered the gold standard for treating tendon injuries and managing pain. It is a safe, non-invasive treatment that uses high energy sound waves to encourage tissue regeneration. 

When used alongside appropriate rehabilitation exercises, shockwave therapy can be especially effective at treating tendinopathy. 

Get in touch

If you’ve recently injured your tendons and could use some help on your journey to recovery, we are here for you. Please give us a call on 020 8898 1231 to speak to one of our professional physiotherapists.