Tendons connect muscle to bone and help move joints. Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. The injuries can include:
Tendinopathy is caused by overuse. This causes tiny tears that build up over time.
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:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect tendinopathy based on symptoms. Images are rarely needed. They may be done if the doctor suspects problems with the bone.
Treatment depends on the tendon and how badly it is damaged. Basic care will include:
Physical therapy may be needed if the problems keeps returning.
To lower the risk of this problem:
American College of Sports Medicine
FamilyDoctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Derry S, Moore RA, et al. 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: http://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/files-for-resource-library/basics_exercise-induced-leg-pain.pdf?sfvrsn=8c62186b_2. Published 2016. Accessed July 28, 2020.
Patellar tendinopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/patellar-tendinopathy. Updated May 16, 2019. Accessed July 28, 2020.
Patellar tendon tear. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00512. Updated February 2016. Accessed July 28, 2020.
Schwartz A, Watson JN, et al. Patellar Tendinopathy. Sports Health. 2015 Sep;7(5):415-420.
Last reviewed March 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT Last Updated: 3/9/2021