Tendinopathies are various painful problems that affect the tendons of the muscles. We often hear about tendonitis and tendinosis without really knowing what distinguishes them.

  • Tendonitis: Injury caused by overuse or trauma. In most cases, a tendonitis develops as a result of an unusual effort or overtraining. The muscle and tendon cannot adapt to follow the evolution of the effort and it results in inflammation and pain.
  • Tendinosis: Progressive degeneration of the tendon caused by repeated stress or effort on the tendon. Tissue healing is insufficient and results in thinning or deformation of the tendon fibers, calcifications or micro-tears. Untreated tendinosis can lead to partial or complete tearing of the tendon. Since this process takes place over several years, there are no inflammatory signs.

Tendinopathies particularly take the form of pain. This is also the main reason why people consult in physiotherapy for this condition. The pain will tend to increase with the movement or contraction of the affected muscle. However, during the evaluation, your physiotherapist may also note muscle tension and deficiencies in mobility, muscle strength, exercise tolerance, flexibility, posture and movement in your sports or work gestures.

The evolution of this condition extends on a few weeks to several months. The duration of the condition will depend on many factors. Indeed, early management in physiotherapy is essential to improve the prognosis. Moreover, the longer the condition has been present, the more likely it is to become chronic, making the recovery longer and more difficult.


Tendinopathies can be treated by interventions in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture and appropriate medication. In severe cases, surgery may be indicated, among other things if there is a significant tear of a tendon. The initial treatment consists of resting the affected muscle group while keeping the limb active and mobile. Then, when indicated, it will be necessary to gradually resume the strengthening of the affected muscle group and the re-education of the movement. Thus, the physiotherapy management will include myofascial techniques, cryotherapy and thermotherapy, electrotherapy and teaching for analgesic purposes. Ultrasound, manual therapy, tapping and an exercise program will also be part of the treatment plan.

In short, the physiotherapist is the health professional who will guide you through the healing stages. Do not hesitate to consult a physiotherapist quickly if you suspect having tendinopathy.