TENDINITIS, BURSITIS – What is it?

Blog by Brett Cunningham, Owner & Principal Physiotherapist

Consistently over my 32 years of experience is how frustrating the rehabilitation/recovery is for TENDINITIS/BURSITIS.

Very simplified, bursas are fluid-like sacs that lay deep down on the bones near the tendon attachments to bone. They allow the tendons to be supported and cushioned otherwise the tendons would be gliding and frictioning as they move and glide over the bone.

Tendons are the white sinew-like structures that connect your working contracting muscles to something they can pull or move ie bones (tendons link muscles to bone). Examples of tendinitis are in the shoulder (rotator cuff), achilles, patella ( under the knee), around the hip and lateral elbow (tennis elbow). The management of tendon tears/tendinitis has greatly changed over my career but the main rules of recovery that orthopaedic specialists, physiotherapists and scientists agree on is the following:

1. Tendinitis sufferers are not age dependent. Teenagers, mid twenties, midldle-aged, elderly are all susceptible to this pathology
2. Tendons need exercise-they need to be loaded with resistance. The tendons have generally been irritated if they cannot cope with the load/workout that has been recently applied
3. There needs to be NO significant increase in symptoms (pain and swelling)following the exercise-otherwise you are just continuing the irritation. It is OK to feel pressure/load/tiredness during the exercise-that is a normal reaction-but not significantly after. No pain, No gain is wrong for tendon recovery
4. Taping, icing, massage and stretching (through evidence based research) don’t seem to assist tendon recovery as much as we hoped. They might temporarily dampen down the symptoms but they wont fix/heal/prevent
5. Even if the patient remains compliant and continues their exercises that will gradually be progressed, it normally takes 10-14 weeks before symptoms settle. Hang in there, it is a very tedious road to recovery

If you are experiencing any symptoms as mentioned above and you would like your symptoms assessed and treated, Please call us at (07) 4728 2116 or book online.

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