Have you ever experienced pain and soreness around one of your joints that just won’t go away or would constantly be shift from one area of the joint to another without any improvement? If this is the case it is possible that you are dealing with the symptoms of tendinopathy. Some examples include tennis elbow, golf elbow and Achilles tendionapthy.
Tendon is tough bands of tissue that connect muscle to the bone and can withstand a lot of force. However, overuse or too much force can lead to mini tears with in this tissue, and in turn can become chronically stuck in a vicious cycle of recovery responses to the injury and degenerative changes to the tendon. Thus damaged tendon tends to exhibit signs of some inflammation as well as degeneration and disorganization of collagen fibers, which lead to thickening of the tendon, loss of mechanical strength and pain. Due to the lack of access of blood to the tendon as oppose to the muscle the tendon injury can take a much longer time to heal.
There are number of different Tendinopathy treatments available, and the treatment will depend on the severity as well as duration of recovery process.
Initial treatment will consist of RICE therapy for the first 72 hours, with the use of anti-inflammatories such as nurofen or voltaren. In majority of mild cases the injury will be resolved after the initial treatment and some rest.
However, if the pain persists the next step will be a trip to physiotherapist. Physio therapy may consist of a combination of deep tissue massage, acupuncture, eccentric strengthening exercises and shock wave therapy. These therapies aim at reducing and breaking up of the scar tissue, strengthening of the tendon and directing more blood flow and turnover of blood to assist the healing process.
If after the 4-8 week treatment period there is very little or no improvement and pain still persists the next step would be a visit to GP or Sport Doctor, whom can offer a number of alternative therapies such patch therapy (Glyceryl Trinitrate Patches) or PRP treatment (Platelet Rich Plasma).