June 26, 2017 Tendonitis Vs. Tendinosis—Do you know the difference?

Contrary to what many believe, tendonITIS is very rare. Often times, if your pain is located within or near a tendon, it is diagnosed as “tendonitis.” The suffix –it is indicates inflammation; however, 7 days (or more) following injury to a tendon, there are no histological inflammatory markers. In order words, when viewed under a microscope, the small particles that are present  in an inflammatory process are not present after 7 days!

So then, what is it? It is often, in fact, tendinOSIS. The suffix –osis indicates degenerative changes to the tendon’s fibers, without inflammation. At ties, the tendinosis is the after effects of an acute injury, and other times it is related to chronic overuse. Either way, why is this important?

The primary reason differentiating between –ITIS and –OSIS is that it changes the treatment protocol. For instance, healing time for tendonitis is normally a few days to a few weeks, whereas, tendinosis takes 6-10 weeks to heal using eccentric strengthening, soft tissue treatments, stretching, ice, and rest. Click here to learn more!

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