What is Tendinopathy?

21 August 2017

Tendons are the bands of tissue that join your muscles to your bones and help them move in a smooth fashion that does not cause friction. Tendons have to deal with a lot of load on a daily basis, and when too much strain is placed on them they can react and become painful and swollen, resulting in what is called tendinopathy. Here at Wrist Supports, we've put together a guide on just what causes tendinopathy and how to treat it.

What Is Tendinopathy?

Tendinopathy is a catch-all term for tendon injuries, and can develop in any tendon in the body, but particularly in the wrist. It is often characterised by tissue damage, pain, swelling, heat and redness in the affected area, and is usually caused when one of the tendons has been overused and becomes damaged. Athletes are more likely to develop tendinopathy, particularly when playing sports such as tennis, golf or basketball.

What Are the Symptoms of Tendinopathy?

Wrist tendinopathy can occur because the wrist is where the tendons attach to the bone, leaving the area prone to injuries should it be overexerted or confined to repetitive movements. Some common symptoms include:

  • A dull, slowly progressing pain in the wrist area, sometimes even reaching the hand or forearm
  • Tenderness on or around the wrist, even if it is not moving
  • Mild swelling or inflammation

In some rare cases, you may feel a sharp and excruciating pain as the tendon is being injured, and you can sometimes hear a pop or a snapping sound. In these cases, it is absolutely necessary to see a doctor immediately to assess the damage.

How Can Tendinopathy Be Treated?

The first course of action to take is to immediately stop the sport or activity that cased the injury, and do not resume until the affected area has been healed completely. Cooling the area with an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time, and stabilising the wrist with a splint or tape for the first few days, can also often be advised.

Tendon injuries can be slow to heal, sometimes taking upwards of six weeks until you can get back to action. Depending on how serious your tendinopathy is, your doctor may prescribe stronger painkillers, refer you to a physiotherapist, or even put you forward for surgery in some severe cases.

How Can I Prevent Wrist Tendinopathy?

Wrist tendinopathy can be prevented as easily as taking regular breaks and taking a few extra minutes a day thinking about your wrist health. Some of the following steps might help keep your wrists free from tendinopathy:

  • Stretching. A stretch before and after participating in activities that put stress on your wrists will do wonders in preventing injuries from happening. Incorporate some basic flexion exercises to your routine to keep injury at bay.
  • Relaxing. If you find yourself doing many strenuous or repetitive activities on a day to day basis, make sure to take regular breaks to give your wrist some well-needed relaxation time. If you feel it necessary, you can even ice the area at the end of the day.
  • Improving. Sometimes wrist tendinopathy can occur from improper technique. If you regularly practice racket sports such as tennis, make sure you are using the right forehand and backhand techniques. If you work in a office, make sure your wrists are kept straight as you type, or, if you play a musical instrument, make sure it is held in the proper position.

Tendinopathy at Wrist Support

Seeking proper treatment for tendinopathy will help you keep your wrists in the best condition, and here at Wrist Supports we have the best braces, supports and accessories to get you onto the road to recovery. Wearing a wrist support as you participate in sports, type on the computer, or just when resting will help speed up recovery just that little bit faster, ensuring that you are as good as new in no time. Click the button below to see our range especially designed for wrist tendinopathy.

Have you had any form of wrist tendinopathy? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.

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