Tendinitis vs. Tendinosis | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Tendinitis vs. Tendinosis

Young woman suffering from tendinitis

Patients and general practitioners themselves can struggle to find the correct diagnosis and treatment for tendon pain, one of the most common types of pain. If you’re looking at pain in the Achilles, elbow, shoulder, or hip, it’s useful to narrow it down to one cause. IMPACT Physical Therapy covers tendonitis vs. tendinosis, so you can decide whether you should be treated for tendinitis or tendinosis below. 

Tendinitis vs. Tendinosis: Diagnosis

Let’s first look at the facts about diagnosis and prevalence in the tendonitis vs. tendinosis comparison. Patients confuse these sometimes and problems can go untreated or even undiagnosed. One thing they do have in common: they occur most commonly in the Achilles (heel), patella (knee cap), shoulder, and elbow. If you’re experiencing stiffening or pain in these areas, consider the difference between the two: 

  • Tendinitis: As many know, tendinitis is an inflammation of a muscle. This is usually the result of a trauma that results in visible redness and inflammation. 
  • Tendinosis: Tendinosis is a chronic degenerative condition. This mostly comes along thanks to repeated stress and over use. It’s a non-inflammatory process so anti-inflammatory medications are not usually recommended. 

Although tendinitis is more frequently diagnosed, it’s estimated that more people may be suffering from tendinosis.

Tendinitis vs. Tendinosis: Physical Therapy Treatment

The time to heal for tendinitis is much shorter than the same on tendinosis — 2-6 weeks vs. several months. A trained physical therapist will be aware of the difference between tendinitis vs. tendinosis and try to distinguish between the two on your first visit. Here’s some of the methods of treatment: 

  • Rest: Resting is actually more difficult than you’d think, as it requires you to recognize all the small, repetitive ways you put tension on the affected area! A physical therapist will help you recognize the activities to avoid. 
  • Light Stretching: There are a number of simple, small stretches that can cut away the pain if done under proper advisement. 
  • Strengthening: It’s not just important to relax the tendon; sometimes it’s advisable to strengthen the area around your injury to help recovery and prevent further problems. 

These are just a few of the tools in the toolbox of a physical therapist for treating tendinitis or tendinosis. 

Find an IMPACT Physical Therapy Location Today! 

From tennis elbow to knee pain to so much more, the therapists at IMPACT Physical Therapy have helped many people get through pain with knowledgeable therapy and guidance. Explore our locations to find out where you can go to relieve tendinitis or tendinosis.