Treatment approaches to tendinosis include taking pain relief medication and making lifestyle changes such as adjusting posture when sitting or strengthening the joints through exercise.
There are various other approaches to managing this condition and they differ depending on the severity of symptoms and which tendon is affected.
Some measures people can take if they have tendinosis include:
- Stopping whichever activity has caused the condition such as typing or playing a sport. This should prevent further damage and inflammation.
- Resting the affected tendon to reduce inflammation.
- Applying some form of support such as a splint, brace or bandage to help reduce movement.
- Visiting a physiotherapist, who uses techniques to relieve pain and help people regain function of the affected area. Some of these techniques include exercises, massage, lasers and ultrasound.
- Applying ice packs to cause vessel constriction and prevent abnormal neovascularisation or blood vessel formation at the affected tendons.
- Taking dietary supplements such as amino acids has been reported to improve symptoms, although no evidence yet exists to support this.
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, diclofenac or aceclofenac.
Usually, tendinosis improves over time and surgery is not required, but in some severe cases surgery is considered as an option.
- Corticosteroids can be injected into the joint spaces to reduce inflammation. These injections can relieve pain but they can cause side effects such as thinning of the skin.
Overall, the treatment of tendinosis aims to:
- Reduce pain
- Increase range of motion and strength
- Enable return to normal daily activities without pain
- Prevent further damage
- Prevent recurrence
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc