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What we’ll cover
  1. What is a tendon injury?
  2. What causes a tendon injury?
  3. Where do tendon injuries occur?
  4. Treatment for tendon injury
  5. Exercises for tendon injury
  6. How long does it take for a tendon injury to heal?

What to do if you have a tendon injury?

Our physiotherapist Vernon Mittal discusses what to do when you have a tendon injury (tendonitis or tendinopathy) and highlights the treatment you can seek from our physiotherapists.

What is a tendon injury?

Most tendon injuries occur near joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle.  Tendinopathy (previously referred to as tendonitis) is characterised as an overuse tendon injury.  It results in pain and a decreased tolerance of the tendon to withstand load, therefore the overall function is reduced. Changes in tendon structure at a microscopic level can result in the affected tendon to be less capable of sustaining repeated activity.

What causes a tendon injury?

There are a number of extrinsic reasons (factors that can be controlled) as to why it may have occurred but typically it is the following:

– Sudden acute increase in training/exercise load

– Commencement of training/exercise if previously sedentary

– Direct trauma to the tendon

– Returning to the same level of training/exercise post a period of injury/rest

Intrinsic reasons (factors that cannot be controlled) also play a part in the onset/risk of developing tendinopathy. They include:

– Age

– Sex

– Genes

– Body biomechanics

Where do tendon injuries occur?

The most common place for a tendinopathy is at the Achilles tendon. However, other common places include the shoulder (rotator cuff tendinitis), elbow (tennis elbow), hip and knee.

Treatment for tendon injury

Load. This is the key to managing tendinopathy injuries. Load is a term for the amount of activity/exercise that the affected tendon is exposed to. Even though it may be uncomfortable, we still want to keep the strength in the affected tendon at optimal levels throughout the entire process, even from day one.

Your physiotherapist will work alongside you to manage the tendon load and ensure a smooth progression of exercises and activity. We don’t want too much load too quickly, or not enough load either.

It will be critical to monitor the pain/stiffness levels in the tendon throughout the exercises, immediately after and the next morning. These will be important indicators for the physiotherapist to assess whether we increase or decrease exercises.

Exercises for tendon injury

Initially for pain relief, an isometric exercise will be given. This is where you do the specific exercise and hold the position for a number of seconds. This allows the muscle to maintain its strength as well as giving the brain some feedback that it is ‘ok’ to use our muscles.

Once pain levels have reduced to an appropriate level, an isotonic exercise will be given. This means the muscle is being used over a shortening and lengthening phase; i.e. calf raise. This type of exercise is the most functional to everyday life.

Your physiotherapist will progress your exercises as they deem appropriate.

How long does it take for a tendon injury to heal?

The timeframe of full recovery is dependent on a few things including:

– The level of pain

– The length of time between the initial pain and seeking professional help

– The type of activity/sport that you would like to return to

Therefore it can be difficult to state a specific timeframe. Typically, for minimal pain it may range from 3-4 months recovery. For severe pain/long withstanding pain, it may range from 6 – 12 months.

If you are experiencing a tendionpathy injury, please book in to see one of our qualified physiotherapists as soon as possible. You can book online or call our friendly team on 9571 6888.


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Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

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