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Although Tendinitis and Tendinosis may have several symptoms in common (such as pain, decreased strength and reduced flexibility), they are two very different tendon disorders.
Keep reading to find out!
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon. It happens when the tendon is suddenly overloaded, which causes micro-tears in the tendon itself.
In case of tendinitis, the main goal is to reduce the inflammation, and it can take anywhere between several days up to 6 week to heal from tendinitis..
Tendinosis is, instead, described as a degeneration of the tendon’s collagen due to chronic overuse.
In other words, tendinosis happens when the tendon is continuously overworked and it has no time to rest and heal. This can be caused even by little yet repetitive movements, such as typing on the keyboard or using the mouse.
To get rid of tendinosis, it’s essential to stop the cycle of injury and allow the tendon to optimally heal.
This can take from 6 weeks (in early stages) to 6 months (in chronic situations) because the tendon’s collagen requires time to properly grow and heal.
Tendinitis VS Tendinosis: which comes first?
It’s common to think that tendinitis comes first, because it’s caused by a sudden overloading of the tendon, which doesn’t properly heal, and so it turns into tendinosis, right?
Well, that’s not quite the case.
Studies have, indeed, shown that it is very unlikely for a healthy tendon to tear under load.
But this can easily happen if the tendon is already weak because of previously ongoing degeneration (a.k.a.tendinosis).
So tendinitis is most probably a consequence or tendinosis.
What are the Best Treatments?
•In case of Tendinitis
In case of tendinitis, rest and ice can help reduce both inflammation and pain.
Once the tendon‘s inflammation has been reduced, deep friction massage can help reduce abnormal adhesions that might have formed.
•In case of Tendinosis
Deep-friction can be beneficial also in case of tendinosis, but for other reasons: if you have tendinosis, in fact, this treatment can be used to stimulate the production of collagen, which is essential for the tendon to heal.
Rest is also recommended if you have tendinosis, especially at the beginning of the treatment.
Ice can be helpful too and should be applied after having performed activities that massively involved the affected tendon.
Ergonomics adjustments are very important (eg. keeping the wrist in a neutral position when you have to type on your keyboard), as well as the use of external supports (eg. bracing or taping).
Gently stretching the tendon can be useful to prevent the possible shortening of the related muscle, improve blood circulation and reduce the tension that the tendon might undergo during activity.
Tendinosis treatment should also include eccentric strengthening (when the muscle gets lengthened while contracting), best if performed slowly; in fact, this stimulate the collagen formation and prevents the possibility of further injury.
Nutrition also plays a key-role in tendinosis, being Vitamins C, B6 and E recommended for tendons health.
Main Tendinopathy Sites
The regions in our body that were tendinopathy usually occurs are: Shoulder (Rotator Cuff & Biceps), Elbow (Tennis Elbow & Golfer’s Elbow), Wrist, Knee (Jumper’s Knee) and Ankle (Achilles Tendinopathy).
Tendinopathies cause changes in the tendons, making them more prone to get injured.
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