What is a tendon?
A tendon is a band of fibrous connective tissue that connects a muscle to the bone. These structures are designed to withstand tensile loads, however, if they are exposed to excessive loading or repetitive training with poor biomechanics, a tendinopathy may develop.
What is a tendinopathy?
A tendinopathy is a disruption to the normal cellular structure of the tendon. It can be acute, chronic, young, old and grumbly or a combination of all of the above. Loading often occurs at sites in the body where the tendon wraps around the bone. For example common locations are the Achilles, rotator cuff, elbow and the gluteals acting on the hip.
When does the pain occur?
If you are experiencing tendon problems, you are most likely experiencing pain after periods of rest. With Achilles tendinopathy pain, it can happen during the day when you walk after periods of sitting, and more commonly walking first thing in the morning. People will often report increased pain that feels better once they ‘warm up’.
How can it be fixed?
The best approach to rehabilitating a tendinopathy is by implementing a graded loading program. Initially, strength should begin with isometrics (static strength), progress to slow concentric and eccentric strength then followed by heavy eccentric exercises. Finally as the strength improves and pain decreases the program should finish with plyometric exercises (maximum force).