Tendonitis

Identifying possible causes of tendonitis and providing treatment options.

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ACL test

About

Tendonitis or tendinopathy is condition of tendons whereby the structure of the tendon begins to breakdown because of a poor healing response in the tendon. It tends to happen as part of an overuse problem in sports and occurs in any tendon in the body. It commonly occurs in distance runners (e.g. Achilles tendonitis), and in swimmers (e.g. rotator cuff tendonitis).

Need to know

Symptoms vary depending on which tendon is affected, but it will often cause an ache or pain which is localised to the area of the affected tendon, (e.g. where the achilles attaches into the heel bone). Stiffness and discomfort first thing in the morning, which gradually improves with gentle movement is common, but often the pain can be worse after heavy exercise. Occaisionally the tendon may be thickened and tender to the touch, and sometimes there may be a creaking sensation around the tendon with movement.

Your consultant will examine you and you’ll be asked questions about how you exercise, and how the pain is affecting you. You will be examined to see how your movement (biomechanics) may be contributing to the problem, and sometimes you may be asked to undergo a gait analysis assessment. You may also be sent for tests such as an ultrasound scan, or sometimes an MRI scan.

Rehabilitation (such as physiotherapy or osteopathy) is the mainstay of treatment. Tendons frequently need to be loaded in a certain way to improve the capacity of the tendon and the attached muscle to manage load. This is typically done in a graded fashion with specific exercises. You will also be guided on how to return to activity. Sometimes a course of shockwave therapy is recommended, and occaisionally in cases where conventional treatment isn’t working, PRP injections, or even surgery may be advised..

Our Tendonitis locations

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

170 Tottenham Court Road W1T 7HA London
The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.