A tendinopathy is a condition that affects tendons, which are the tough, flexible bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. It is characterised by degeneration, damage, or dysfunction of a tendon, often resulting from repetitive overuse or injury. Tendinopathy can cause pain, stiffness, and a decrease in the affected tendon’s ability to transmit force effectively.
This condition typically develops over time due to activities or movements that place excessive stress on the tendon. Common examples include tendinopathies in the Achilles tendon (Achilles tendinopathy) or the rotator cuff of the shoulder (rotator cuff tendinopathy). The primary symptoms of tendinopathy include localised pain and swelling near the affected tendon, along with reduced range of motion and strength. It can be acute, resulting from a sudden injury, or chronic, stemming from long-term wear and tear.
Treatment for tendinopathy often involves rest, physical therapy to strengthen and stretch the tendon and its surrounding muscles, and sometimes the use of anti-inflammatory medications or other pain management techniques. In more severe cases, medical interventions like corticosteroid injections or, in extreme cases, surgery may be necessary. Proper management and early intervention are essential to facilitate tendon healing and restore normal function.
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