o Both tendinopathies usually start slowly and usually associated with a change in exercise routine such as increased amount of exercise sessions per week, longer exercise sessions or exercising at a higher intensity than you normally would.
o Pain caused by a tendinopathy is usually felt over the tendon and pain is usually felt when loading the tendon.
o Patellar tendinopathy is usually more painful with jumping activities, while Achilles tendinopathy is more painful during running/hopping activities.
o In the early stage of tendinopathy, the pain will usually be felt at the beginning of exercises and subsides with continued activity.
o As tendinopathy progresses, pain will be felt during activities and can eventually lead to stopping the exercise entirely.
o A very common feature (especially for Achilles tendon) is morning stiffness. The severity of the morning stiffness can be used as an indication of the tendons' response to rehabilitation of physical activity.
o The strength and endurance of the calf muscle-tendon unit is very important in both types of tendinopathies as it plays a vital role in the shock absorption of the lower limb during impact activities.
o Although the amount of tendon load should be decreased with rehabilitation, complete cessation of all loading activities in not recommended during rehabilitation as it leads to weakening of the musculotendinous unit and leads to changes within the tendon itself.
o Experiencing pain during rehabilitation of tendinopathy is not detrimental to the recovery of the tendon, as it is more important to view the 24h effect of the exercises (morning stiffness the following day, pain intensity a short while after rehabilitation).
Reference: Kountouris, A. and Cook, J., 2007. Rehabilitation of Achilles and patellar tendinopathies. Best practice & research clinical rheumatology, 21(2), pp.295-316.
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Posted by: Ilse van Vuuren