Tendinitis versus Tendinosis: Recognizing the Differences

Tendinitis versus

Tendinitis Versus Tendinosis: Recognizing the Differences and Health

When it comes to understanding the difference between tendinitis and tendinosis, it’s important to understand that medical professionals use these terms interchangeably; however, technically, there are differences. Tendinitis is the most common condition and refers to swelling and inflammation of the tendons, which are the strong bands of fibrous tissue that connect muscles to bones. Tendinosis, also known as tendinopathy, is a less common condition that is a result of chronic tendon injury, causing degeneration in the tendon fibers. Both conditions can be caused by repetitive movement or overuse, with tendinosis resulting in a more prolonged and degenerative form of tendon injury.

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Determining Whether You Have Tendinitis or Tendinosis

When it comes to diagnostic methods for determining whether you have tendinitis or tendinosis, doctors typically assess the degree of inflammation, pain and dysfunction. Typically, tendinitis occurs with acute injury, which causes pain, which is usually more localized with swelling, tenderness, and/or heat. With tendinosis, pain is usually more widespread, occurs gradually, and can stretch some distance away from the area of the tendon injury.

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Treatment Options

Treatment plans for tendinitis and tendinosis vary and can include physical therapy, rest, and medications (steroid injections, NSAIDs, etc.). Although the various treatments are focused on bringing down inflammation and pain, the main priority should be the process of healing the injury and restoring healthy tendon function. The main difference lies in the level of inflammation present; with tendinosis, there is usually no inflammation present, whereas with tendinitis, inflammation is usually present. For this reason, treatments for tendinosis are geared more towards improving tendon strength and reducing prolonged dysfunction, rather than just reducing inflammation.

Managing and Preventing Tendinosis and Tendinitis

The best way to prevent tendinitis or tendinosis is to avoid overuse and repetitive strain injuries. Proper warm-up and stretching exercises and use of proper technique can significantly decrease the risk of injury. Additionally, health care professionals urge people to manage and control pain levels before it gets worse.

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If you experience any type of tendon pain and think you might have tendinosis or tendinitis, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional, who will help diagnose and manage the injury. With proper diagnosis, treatment, and care, you can restore healthy tendon function and manage and protect the affected area for a quicker return to activities.