Tendonitis vs. Tendinosis--Is there a difference?

Ever go to the doctor for that nagging shoulder pain , they say you have shoulder tendonitis and thought “What does that mean?”

“itis “ of anything means inflammation. Shoulder tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis etc. is a fancy ending  and all it means is that specific body part is inflamed. This stage is typically able to be treated and see results in a shorter period of time, sometimes 3-6 weeks.  It responds well to rest, activity modification and over the counter drugs like ibuprofen or Aleve.

BUT here’s the thing----- by the time you actually acknowledge the pain , find time to make an appointment, see the MD and come out with a prescription for Physical Therapy (which you don’t need in MA to see us!), your shoulder pain is most likely advanced to TENDINOSIS. So what’s the difference and why do I care?

Tendinosis actually isn’t inflammation at all. It’s an abnormal thickening  and weakening of the tendon and research has shown that Aleve or ibuprofen can actually interfere with your body’s natural healing process.  Once we are in the tendinosis stage, it can take 3-9 MONTHS to really heal.   It  takes that long for your body to rebuild collagen and be able to workout at the level  you want without any further irritation or injury.

So, what’s the take home message? Don’t ignore the signals your body is giving you. If you notice something is unusually sore , see a PT that specializes in this because not all treatments are the same and some can make it worse.  The right program can make all the difference in your recovery and pain. No one wants to be sore and modifying your daily routine for 6 months, so addressing the first signs that something isn’t right, can help you return to what you love faster.

If you have any pain , don’t hesitate on booking an appointment and remember, rest isn’t always the best!