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Tendonitis and Tendinosis Aren’t the Same

There’s a great old song about calling the same thing by different names: “You say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-toe; you say po-tay-toe, I say po-tah-toe.” How you pronounce tomato and potato certainly doesn’t change the thing itself. They’re still the same vegetables. That isn’t the case with everything that sounds similar, of course. Tendonitis and tendinosis are not the same thing, though they both sound and feel similar to your feet!

Tendonitis and tendinosis are both problems that affect tendons. They are both caused by overuse. The both weaken your foot, limit your flexibility, and make using the damaged connective tissue very uncomfortable. However, since they are not the same thing, they affect tendons in different ways and benefit from slightly different treatment.

Tendonitis is more widely known. It involves inflammation in the tendon resulting from micro-tears in the tissue. This is a side effect of the connector being overloaded and unable to handle the weight or stress appropriately. Microscopic tears in the tissue inflame the tendon and cause swelling and irritation around it.

Tendinosis usually isn’t as familiar to people, but it’s actually more common. Many overuse injuries get mistakenly called tendonitis but are actually tendinosis. This is a degeneration of a tendon without any inflammation around it. It happens when the connector gets overused without time to rest and heal. Being overworked wears down the connective tissue and weakens it. Often the tendon thickens and develops a solid bump as a result.

Because these two produce similar symptoms and have similar causes, they’re often confused. They don’t have exactly the same treatment process, however, so getting your condition diagnosed correctly is important. Tendonitis treatment involves eliminating the inflammation in the tendon so it can heal. Tendinosis therapy works toward repairing and regenerating the damaged tendon tissue, which usually takes longer than simply lowering inflammation.

If you’re struggling with tendon problems in any way, don’t let it limit your mobility or keep you from doing what you love. Call Absolute Foot Care Specialists to help you diagnose and take care of it. You can reach our Las Vegas area offices at (702) 839-2010; you can also use our website to connect with us.

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