Your Physiotherapist or GP will conduct a physical examination as well as take details of your medical history and symptoms to confirm the diagnosis of tendinopathy and rule out other possible disorders. Sometimes an MRI or ultrasound scan may be indicated.
Recovery will take several weeks but most often takes several months depending on the severity of pain and how long the symptoms have been present. If diagnosed and treated early, the more effective treatment will be and the quicker the recovery.
Treatments that can help:
Ice or heat?
In the first six – eight weeks you can apply an ice pack to the tendon at intermittent intervals to help reduce pain. Wrap some ice/ peas in a tea towel and put it over the painful area for 10 minutes. If your symptoms have been present for over eight weeks you may find heat offers more relief. A hot water bottle is the perfect heat source to use but always apply it over clothes or a towel.
Over the counter medications such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen can be helpful in managing the pain. It is important to get advice regarding suitable medication from a GP, Pharmacist or well-trained Physiotherapist.
Rest will not resolve tendinopathy but it will help your symptoms settle so it is important initially. The pain may settle but, if you return to the previous level of activity, it is more than likely your symptoms will return.
It is important to rest the affected area from activities that increase your pain but do not stop activity completely. We recommended engaging in alternative forms of exercise such as swimming and cycling to reduce the load on the tendon. Your Physiotherapist can help guide you with this.