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(Tendonitis; Tendinosis)


Tendons connect muscle to bone and help move joints. Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. The injuries can include:
  • Tendonitis—An inflammation of the tendon.
  • Tendinosis—Micro tears in the tendon tissue with no significant inflammation
These injuries are more common in these tendons:
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Tendinopathy is caused by overuse. This causes tiny tears that build up over time.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in women than in men. It is also more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:
  • Doing any activity too much, such as:
    • Sports
    • Physical labor
    • Housework
  • Physical problems, such as:
    • Muscle imbalances
    • Poor flexibility
    • Being overweight
    • Alignment problems in the leg(s)


Problems may be:
  • Pain in the tendon or the area around it, often with activity
  • Poor motion of related joints
  • Swelling
  • Weakness


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Images may be taken of the tendon and bone. This can be done with:


Treatment depends on the tendon and how badly it is damaged. Options are:
  • Supportive care with rest and ice
  • Using a cast, splint, or brace to support the tendon
  • Shoe inserts
  • Medicines to ease pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy


To lower the risk of this problem:
  • Slowly increase activities
  • Stretch and strengthen the muscles that attach to a tendon


American College of Sports Medicine
FamilyDoctor—American Academy of Family Physicians


Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation


Derry S, Moore RA, Gaskell H, McIntyre M, Wiffen PJ. Topical NSAIDs for acute musculoskeletal pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2015;(6): CD007402.
Exercise-induced leg pain. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: Published 2016. Accessed July 28, 2020.
Patellar tendinopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated May 16, 2019. Accessed July 28, 2020.
Patellar tendon tear. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Updated February 2016. Accessed July 28, 2020.
Schwartz A, Watson JN, et al. Patellar Tendinopathy. Sports Health. 2015 Sep;7(5):415-420.

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