I've Got 'Tendonitis' - Should I Get An Injection?

This is a question that we get asked asked all the time, and we thought it would be a good idea to help bust a few myths and bring a bit of clarity to 'tendonitis' and injections.

Physiotherapists are experts in tendon pain.

To begin with, it is important that we start on the same page.

According to the most recent research, we know that the term 'tendonitis' is, at best, rather misleading and, at worst, a false misnomer.

The suffix 'itis' implies inflammation of the tendon, but we know these days that inflammation is rarely the cause of pain or dysfunction in a tendon.

A more accurate description of your symptoms would be a 'tendinopathy' (literally, pain arising from the tendon) and attaching a descriptive word to this, either reactive or degenerative.

REACTIVE implies and acute response to a unique stimulus (increased lifting, new sports, change in footwear, etc), and DEGENERATIVE refers to the slow breakdown of tendon tissue over time.

Now that we have a better understanding of what is actually happening in our tendons, we can devise a plan to appropriately treat it.

Historically, cortisone has been used as a steroid injection to treat inflammation.

But since we know that tendinopathy is not inflammatory, always always you should NOT have an injection!

What have you read about this elsewhere? We'd love you to leave a comment and let us know what you think!