Tendinopathy is a term used to describe a dysfunctional tendon. This can include a tendon being painful, but just because it is dysfunctional does not mean it will be painful. A tendon that is dysfunctional will often have in-growth of new blood vessels and nerves and may produce inflammatory chemicals which further irritate the tissue and nerves in that area.
Tendinopathy is often started following trauma (such as a strain), compression (such as prolonged kneeling) or overuse (often related to changes in activity/exercise). Repetition of tasks can further increase the risk of tendinopathy, but is not a guaranteed way to cause it. It normally follows the tendon being strained in a way that it cannot tolerate, causing it to enter a cycle of disrepair.
Pain related to tendinopathy is often intermittent, but can be constant in more severe cases. Pain will often improve with periods of relative rest, but static postures may allow inflammation to accumulate and worsen pain, such as at night. Most people describe dull or aching pain, but this is not always the case.
Common site of tendinopathies
- Rotator cuff
- Wrist extensor (aka. Tennis Elbow)
- Wrist flexor (aka. Golfers Elbow)
- Gluteal (aka. Trochanteric bursitis)
- Patella (aka. Jumpers Knee)