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Tendinopathy and Treatment

What is tendinopathy?

Written by Adrian Choy, Exercise Physiologist at Blacktown. Article from July 2019

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What is tendinopathy?

You may have heard of this common condition or possibly have been recently diagnosed with it. This clinical condition involves swelling and pain around a tendon which may arise from overuse. This overload can come from the structural and mechanical incapability of the attached muscle being able to transmit load. Pain from this condition can be partially attributed to the function, diminishing muscular strength and motor control which, collectively, reduces the function of the tendon. In this context, function means the ability of the muscle to produce strength required for the tendon to accumulate and release energy during bodily movements.

So how do we treat this?

Appropriate loading is the most important factor when it comes to managing tendinopathy. Structured exercise prescription can target the tendon to help its reorganisation, synthesis of collagen, and affect compliance of the tendon. In simpler words, exercise has therapeutic effects on tendons by enhancing its mechanical properties, improving functional strength, innervation and vascularity or pain perception for an individual.

Exercise Physiologist’s can help by structuring exercise from the most up-to-date evidence for improved function and reduced pain for tendinopathy. Exercise’s would begin with a loading scheme that does not provoke symptoms (and by reducing high loads coming from everyday life), then to isometrics (contraction of muscles but not joint movement), into slow- followed by fast-dynamic functional movement through strength exercises.

 

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