Tendinosis can be cured but may take 3 to 6 months to heal. Physical therapy and other treatment measures may speed up the healing process.
Tendinosis can be cured, but it takes a long time—somewhere between three and six months—to heal completely. However, treatments can help speed up the healing process and improve outcomes.
Early treatment is necessary because untreated tendinosis can rupture the tendons and lead to further degeneration of tendon tissue.
How is tendinosis treated?
Your doctor will ask for signs and symptoms, take your proper medical history, and perform a physical examination of the affected tendons. They may refer you to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon or a sports medicine doctor. The specialist doctor will order X-rays of the affected limb to rule out other conditions. Additionally, they will most likely order magnetic resonance imaging scans of the affected limb.
If tendinosis is confirmed, your doctor will recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
- Rest: Rest and immobilization during the early course of the disease is the best medium to curb inflammation and let the tissue heal.
- Stretching exercises: Exercises that involve stretching the tendons improve flexibility apart from improving blood supply to them. You must start stretching exercises with the recommendation and supervision of the physiotherapist.
- Massage: Gentle massaging of the affected area helps promote local blood circulation to hasten the recovery and reduce inflammation.
- Muscle-strengthening exercises: These exercises that target the muscles around the tendon injury minimize strain on the tendon.
- Using physical support: Using braces or tape helps guard the tendon against further injury.
- Corticosteroid injections: Doctors may administer corticosteroid injections around the affected area to reduce pain and swelling for the short term. However, they do not recommend these injections for the long term due to their tendency to impair the healing process of tendon injuries.
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy: Doctors remove your blood to separate the plasma component that contains the platelets. They then inject the separated platelet-rich plasma back into your affected area. This therapy helps repair the injured tendon.
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy: Pressure waves are applied to the surface of the skin to help regenerate the damaged cells of the injured tendon.
- Surgery: If your tendinosis is severe and nothing else among the above treatments helps, your doctor will most likely recommend surgery that repairs the tendon.
What is the difference between tendinosis and tendinitis?
The difference between tendinosis and tendinitis includes the following:
- Tendinitis is acute inflammation that causes temporary swelling of the tendon. The tendon looks swollen with no other damage to the internal structure the tendon.
- Tendinosis is a chronic condition in which the tendon is injured due to repetitive strain or overuse. The damaged tendon looks scarred and rubbery in appearance due to its degeneration.
4 lifestyle modifications to ease tendinosis
Small modifications in your daily life can minimize strain and degeneration on the tendon injury and help ease tendinosis pain, such as:
- Maintain a good posture:
- Ensure that you maintain the correct posture when you stand, sit, lie down, or bend to pick up things.
- If your work involves sitting for long hours at the desk, use ergonomically designed furniture such as desks and chairs that ease the stress off your tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints.
- Do not stay in one position for long:
- Do not sit for long hours in one place. Instead, take a break after every 30 minutes and move around.
- Focus on doing exercises correctly:
- Remember to warm up before your workouts followed by cooling exercises.
- Educate yourself about the proper technique and form necessary for any exercise.
- Be regular in your workouts and do not restrict them to just one time a week.
- Rest your muscles one day a week by taking a break.
- Rethink about your medications:
- Certain medications can cause tendinosis. If you think taking a certain medication is aggravating your pain, talk with your doctor.
- Your doctor may suggest alternatives that won’t affect your tendon.