Tendons connect the muscles to the bones. They are strong and designed to resist tensile loads, some rock climbers are able to support their entire weight on a single pinky finger!
Tendons have a poor blood supply thereby slow healing and difficult to treat. Healing times can take approximately 3-4 months however, it is not uncommon for these injuries to persist and reoccur.
Common causes of injuries to the tendons include:
These can be categorized into tendinitis and tendinosis:
Tendinitis refers inflammation of the tendons. If addressed early enough this should respond well to conservative treatment.
Tendinosis is most commonly seen in people from middle age and onwards. It is characterized by thinning and weakening of the tendon making you more prone to developing tears. Tendinosis lacks of the presence of inflammation therefore, does not respond well to anti-inflammatory medications.
Acute Tissue Over Load/Tears
We often see these types of injuries from sporting activity. Unaccustomed heavy lifting or sudden falls are also common causes of overload injuries.
Tendon tears are graded pending the extent of the damage:
Grade 1 mild- micro trauma, minimal pain, minimal loss of ROM, strength and function
Grade 2 moderate-partial tear, very painful, obvious loss of ROM, strength and function
Grade 3 severe-complete/near complete tear of tendon fibres, complete/near complete loss of ROM, strength and function (will require an orthopaedic opinion)
Please keep in mind the information provided is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute to consult your treating health professional. If you have any specific questions or require assistance with your individual treatment requirements please do not hesitate to contact MyFamily Physio Mona Vale, Northern Beaches Sydney.