Disorder of Tendons

Tendinopathies are conditions that affect the tendons, which are bands of fibrous tissue that connect the muscles and bones. Tendinopathies can describe many types of tendon disorders such as tendonitis or tendinosis.

You can have tendinopathy in any tendon in your body. However, it is more common in the:

  • Achilles tendon
  • Hamstrings
  • Patellar tendon
  • Rotator cuff tendons

Overuse and aging are the most common causes of tendinopathies. Other causes are sudden injury or stress on the tendon and lack of muscle tone. 

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Symptoms of tendinopathies include:

  • Pain in the tendon or joint
  • Weakness or stiffness of a joint

To diagnose tendinopathies, your doctor will start by collecting your medical history and doing a physical exam. You may also need X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans.

Treatment may include:

  • Low-impact exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Injections of corticosteroids
  • Surgery

Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment. You may start with physical therapy and over-the-counter medications for pain. The goal is to rebuild your strength and encourage the tendon to heal. If these treatments do not work, you may consider surgery.

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