Tendon Tissue and the Cycle of Pain
Tendons and Training
When tendons are chronically exposed
to training volumes that are beyond their capacity of loading, there becomes a cycle of injury, inflammation and repair that
can lead to swelling and pain, which is a tendinopathy. The loading can be through tension, compression or friction, which obviously present quite differently to the experienced practitioner.
Tendons and Loading Issues
Loading issues inevitably result in poor quality tissue repair of the tendon if the person resumes the activity that caused inflammation before the tendon has a chance to fully heal.
Why Tendinopathy is Difficult to Heal
Tendinopathy is generally a very slow onset over time and for a patient who has had chronic symptoms for a number of years, the resolution can be frustratingly slow or they may have failure for that tissue to heal.
Tendons and the Cycle of Pain
Without proper rehab to guide a client, they will continue to remain in a cycle of acute on-chronic pain, as they return to the activity with poorly healed tendon tissue which results in the pain cycle presenting again.
The Kinetic Chain
In particular, the issues within the client’s kinetic chain (ie the limbs and trunk associated with the affected site) that have resulted in the tendon becoming chronically overused or compressed must be addressed thoroughly.
This does not mean someone will be required to have significant time off from sport (although is some cases the tendon damage will require it), however they must reverse the trend of abuse that is occurring to that tendon.
These issues will always take many months of hard work to fully address, and the client must be prepared for this, or risk chronic issues with the tendon in the long term.