Tendinosis is a kind of tendon damage that occurs over time. It’s a common ailment that’s sometimes misdiagnosed as tendonitis.
Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for tendinosis, as well as how it differs from tendinitis, in this article.
What is tendinosis?
The tough, fibrous threads that connect muscles to bones are known as tendons. Collagen fibers run straight and parallel in healthy tendons.
Tendinosis is a condition in which tendons deteriorate, or break down. Instead of straight collagen fibers, tendons may have small tears or disordered collagen fibers.
The elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, and Achilles heel tendons are the most often affected by this condition.
Tendinosis may be linked to other underlying conditions, such as tennis elbow and swimmer’s shoulder.
Tendinosis is a condition in which the tendons harden, thicken, and scar. This results in joint discomfort and a lack of flexibility.
Tendonitis is characterized by the following symptoms:
- localized burning pain and swelling around the tendon
- Pain that worsens during and after physical activity
- stiffness in the joint
- restricted joint movement
- pain that persists for several months
Tendinosis is a condition that occurs when a tendon is overworked. Additionally, physical trauma such as a fall or sports injury may be responsible for the condition.
It is possible to develop tendinosis as a result of activities or occupations that involve repetitive stress on the tendons. The risk of developing this condition is higher among athletes and manual workers, for example.
In older persons, tendon issues are more frequent due to the fact that the joints become less flexible as one grows older. Those who suffer from joint disorders such as arthritis may also be more susceptible to tendinosis.
Tendons are notoriously difficult to mend, and the therapies for tendinosis are designed to help the body’s natural healing processes move more quickly.
Doctors often advise patients to use the following at-home remedies:
- Resting the tendon and avoiding repeated motions are important precautions.
- When doing repetitive tasks, such as typing, this may include taking a 15-minute break every 15 minutes.
- Stretching the tendon helps to enhance its range of motion and flexibility while also increasing circulation.
- Massage the afflicted region to encourage circulation.
- Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the affected tendon may help to lessen the amount of everyday strain placed on the injured tendon.
- Using braces or tape to preserve the tendon from future damage.
Treatments such as the ones listed below may also be recommended by a doctor:
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (EWST) is a technique in which pressure waves are applied to the skin’s surface to treat patients. This has the potential to enhance tissue regeneration and accelerate the healing process. EWST has been demonstrated to be useful in the treatment of some lower limb disorders.
- Surgery may be used to remove damaged tissue and enable the tendon to recover, therefore alleviating discomfort.
Injections of corticosteroids around the tendon may help to alleviate short-term discomfort and edema. However, they may also increase the likelihood of recurrence and may even decrease collagen formation in rare cases.
- Injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) are performed by injecting plasma from the patient’s blood into the tendon’s surrounding tissues. The platelets aid in the repair and regeneration of cells.
Tendinosis vs. tendinitis
Tendinosis and tendinitis are both medical terms that relate to disorders with the tendons of the body. They are often used interchangeably, and the medical profession is currently working on defining these phrases properly.
Tendinosis is characterized by the degradation of tendon tissue, which may also be accompanied by inflammation. Tendinosis is a chronic and debilitating ailment that lasts for a lengthy period of time.
Tendinitis is a kind of tendon discomfort that is caused by inflammation of the tendon. Anti-inflammatory medications and ice may be used to alleviate the symptoms.
The afflicted region may be scanned with an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, which can help a doctor differentiate between tendinosis (degenerated tendons) and tendonitis (inflamed tendons).
It takes a long time for tendon injuries to heal because the blood flow to tendons is often inadequate. Healing time for tendinosis may range from 3 to 6 months; however, physical therapy and other therapies may help to improve the prognosis.
A person suffering from tendinitis should anticipate a quicker healing period of up to 6 weeks.
Despite the fact that tendinosis therapy might be tough, the long-term prognosis for the condition is favorable. A complete recovery from tendinosis may be expected in 3 to 6 months for most people, depending on whether their illness is chronic or non-chronic.
Tendinosis, if left untreated, may result in torn tendons, thus it is critical to get treatment as soon as possible.
Individuals often can prevent tendinosis by making sure they warm up thoroughly before exercise or beginning an activity involving repetitive joint movements. Wearing supportive shoes in the lower limbs may help to keep tendons in the lower limbs healthy.
Rest and physical therapy may help to expedite the healing process and improve the long-term prognosis for those who are suffering from this condition.