What is it?

Tendinosis occurs when tendons degenerate, meaning that they begin to break down. Tendons may have small tears or disorganized collagen fibers instead of straight collagen fibers. This condition is most common in the elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, and Achilles heel tendons.
Tendinosis may be linked to other underlying conditions, such as tennis elbow and swimmer’s shoulder.

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Signs & symptoms

Tendinosis refers to hardening, thickening, and scarring of the tendons. This causes pain and a loss of flexibility in the joint. Common symptoms of tendinosis are:
* localized burning pain and swelling around the tendon
* pain that gets worse during and after activity
* stiffness in the joint
* restricted joint movement
* pain that persists for several months


To diagnose tendinosis, a doctor will conduct a physical examination, get a symptom history, and may recommend various imaging tests. In gathering your symptom history, you may be asked questions such as how long the pain has been there, where it’s located, what seems to aggravate it, and what the frequency and intensity of the pain is.
During the physical exam, the doctor may check for range of motion, which will require you to move the joint. The doctor may also lightly push on the affected area. Additionally, it may be recommended to get an x-ray or imaging scans (MRI or ultrasound) to check for any structural damage, ruptures, or tears.

Imaging tests
X-rays. In diagnosing tendinosis, x-ray images are often used to rule out other issues such as arthritis, stress fractures, or infection.
MRI. This machine uses magnets and computer processing to give a detailed image of the body’s internal structures and can show if there have been any structural changes to the tendon.
Ultrasound. This imaging test uses sound waves to generate an image that will show if there has been any thickening of the tendon


Tendons usually take a long time to heal, so the treatments for tendinosis aim to speed up the body’s natural healing processes. Doctors often recommend the following at-home treatments:
* Resting the tendon and avoiding repetitive movements. This may include taking a break every 15 minutes when doing repetitive activities, such as typing.
* Stretching the tendon to increase its range of movement and flexibility and to promote circulation.
* Massaging the affected area to promote circulation.
* Strengthening the muscles around the tendon with exercises to reduce daily strain on the injured tendon.
* Using braces or tape to protect the tendon from further injury.

A doctor may also recommend the following treatments:
* Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (EWST), which involves applying pressure waves to the surface of the skin. This may promote the regeneration of tissue and speed up the healing process. EWST has been shown to be effectiveTrusted Source for some lower limb conditions.
* Surgery can remove damaged tissue to relieve pain and allow the tendon to heal.
* Corticosteroid injections around the tendon can reduce short-term pain and swelling. However, they may also make relapse more likely and can sometimes impair collagen production.
* Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, involve injecting plasma from the person’s blood into areas around the tendon. The platelets promote cell repair and healing.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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