Tendinopathy is a degenerative change within a tendon in the body.
We used to refer to it as tendinitis however recent research suggests this sort of tendon pain is not really caused by inflammation of the tendon rather by degeneration and structural changes that weaken the tendon.
It can occur in the main tendon structure (mid-portion tendinopathy) or where the tendon joins the bone (insertional tendinopathy).
Tendinopathy is a common complaint in sports that involve running and jumping and occurs due to overloading of the tendon followed by the development of an abnormal healing process.
It can also occur with poor biomechanics (the forces associated with the way you move and function).
When the tendon is overloaded, it develops damage that reduces its ability to tolerate stress - walking, running etc.
When this occurs, more changes occur that further reduce the tendon’s ability to tolerate load which leads to more damage.
Factors that contribute to the development of Tendinopathy include:
All of these factors can lead to increased stress in the tendon, micro-tears and subsequent tendinopathy.
Initially, Tendinopathy may feel like general soreness in the tendon that settles quickly with activity.
Gradually, the soreness begins to take longer to settle and develops into a true sensation of pain in the tendon first thing in the morning and throughout the day.
With continued activity, the tendon becomes swollen and very painful to use and touch.