What is tendinopathy?
| Tendon disorders occur as a result of wear and
tear, overuse or incorrect load bearing
Tendinopathy is a disease of the tendon caused by
wear and tear, overuse, or incorrect use of the joints in
the body. Tendons connect muscle to bones, and although
tendinopathy, or tendinosis or tendon disorder as it is
sometimes referred to, is generally non-inflammatory, it can
lead to pain and reduced mobility.
What causes tendinopathy?
Tendons transmit the power of the muscles onto the
bones. This often causes a strong leverage effect and
strains the tendons by a power many times higher than
the actual body weight. Prolonged activity, repetitive
movements or incorrect load bearing can all lead to
irritation and inflammation, combined with pain and
reduced mobility. Treatments are usually a lengthy process.
The most well-known tendons are the Achilles tendon (the largest tendon in the human body found at the heel), the biceps tendon, the tendons in the hand, and the elbow tendon. Many tendons can be felt quite easily and their anatomical function clearly seen.
Focal point: tendon sheath
Wherever muscle power is directed around a corner to
reach the intended bone, the human body uses tendon
sheaths. These are filled with a fluid very similar to synovial
joint fluid and can be considered as protective friction
bearings, helping guard the tendon from mechanical stress
as it glides across bony structures. When healthy, the
tendon sheaths ensure a smooth gliding of the tendon
around the corner. But the stress at this point is particularly
high, which can cause tendinopathy in the tendon sheath.