Tendonitis, Tendinosis and Tendinopathy. What’s the difference?

Tendons are the fibrous tissues that connect muscle to bone, and there are hundreds of tendons throughout the body.

Tendonitis – is the inflammation of the tendon and results from micro-tears that happen when they are acutely stretched beyond normal ranges. Patients with tendonitis typically recover within several weeks. Chronic tendonitis can lead to tendinosis.

Tendinosis – is the non-inflammatory degeneration of a tendon. This degeneration can include changes to the structure or composition of the tendon. These changes often result from repetitive micro-traumas which are continued without giving the tendon time to heal and rest. Tendinosis can take several months to treat.

***Some experts assert that tendinosis should not be treated with NSAIDs, because NSAIDs inhibit the growth of collagen, which is necessary for tendon healing.

The distinction between the two conditions is important because the inflammation of tendinitis is treated differently than the deterioration of tendinopathy (tendinosis).

Inflammation from acute tendonitis often responds quickly to medications and anti-inflammatory treatment. However, if the injury is due to tendon tissue degeneration, treatment may be quite lengthy and will be focused on improving the strength of the tendon and rebuilding tissues.

– literally means a disease or disorder of a tendon. Tendinopathy is typically used to describe any problem involving a tendon.

At Podiatry and Moore, your Narellan podiatrist, we specialize in tendon issues.