Tendinosis: What it is, symptoms and treatment


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Tendinosis is the process of tendon degeneration, which often happens when tendinitis has not been treated correctly. Nevertheless, tendinosis is not always related to an inflammatory process, and it is up to the physician to identify tendinosis from diagnostic tests, such as ultrasound and resonance.

In tendinitis there is inflammation around the tendon, while in tendinosis the tendon itself is already weakened with areas of fluid accumulation and small areas of rupture that can lead to complete rupture of the tendon even with small efforts.

Tendinosis affect mainly the supraspinatus tendons near the shoulders; patellas, in the knees; Achilles tendon, heel, and rotator cuff, as well as in the shoulder. Shoulder tendinosis usually occurs in athletes and people who have to keep their arms raised for a long time, such as plastic artists and teachers.

The treatment of tendinosis is done with the objective of regenerating the joint from the stimulation of collagen production.

Main symptoms

Symptoms of tendinosis are the same as tendinitis, and include:

  • Local pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty performing movements with the affected joint
  • Mild local swelling
  • Joint instability

The diagnosis of tendinosis is made through magnetic resonance imaging, in which the process of tendon degradation can be observed.

Tendinosis is usually associated with chronicity of tendinitis, which is mainly caused by repetitive movements. However, it can be as a result of great muscle effort, leading to joint overload and directly compromising the tendon. Vascular involvement of the tendon itself and excessive joint use are also common causes of tendinosis.

How treatment is done

The treatment of tendinosis is done with the aim of stimulating collagen production and increasing muscle strength, allowing tendon regeneration and decreasing pain. In addition, it may be important to use analgesics, to relieve pain, and several physiotherapy sessions to decrease inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs are not always recommended, because in some cases there is no associated inflammation, and their use is unnecessary. However, infiltrations with corticosteroids can be used.

To assist in the recovery of the tendon, it is important to rest the joint, avoid immobilizing the joint, performing stretching and kinesiotherapy exercises. In addition, a technique that has good results when used in the treatment of tendinosis is shockwave therapy, in which a device that emits sound waves through the body is used in order to stimulate the repair of various lesions and relieve inflammation.

Recovery time varies between 3 and 6 months, depending on the degree of degeneration of the tendon and whether treatment is being done in the manner indicated by the doctor.


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Cornelius A.

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