Tendonitis can be hard to manage.
Tendons attach muscle to bone. If you’re serious about training and you’re using principles, such as progressive overload, sometimes volume and load can take a toll on your joints and tendons. Let’s be clear, injuries do not have to happen, but they often do at some point in one’s training career or journey. Tendonitis is one of the most annoying injuries that can happen when training is not properly supplemented with adequate rest and recovery. Every single time you lift weights, you’re inevitably imposing stress not only on the muscles being targeted but also on the tendons that connect the muscle to its respective bone.
If tendons do not have adequate time to recover before the next bout of intense training, over-inflammation can occur and take you down a path you probably do not want to embark on – lifting sessions becoming a chore typically because of the intense pain of moving under load, and you can’t help but think, it was all good just a week ago. Typically, once tendonitis sets in, if it’s not immediately met with rest, anti-inflammatories (if advised by a doctor), soft tissue massage, floss and possibly dry needling, the annoying injury can set you back weeks or possibly months.
Common types of tendonitis to be aware of
Biceps tendonitis – pain or in the front deltoid area
Medial epicondylitis (golfers’ elbow) – pain on the inside of the elbow
Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) – pain on the outside of the elbow
Triceps tendonitis – pain felt at distal triceps (just above the elbow on back of arm)
Patellar tendonitis – pain felt at, or just above, the tibial tuberosity (just below kneecap)
If you experience any acute pain (during training) or chronic (nagging) pain in any of the above common areas of tendonitis, you should immediately being reducing training volume and loads to reduce tendon stress. Once you begin resting, supplement your reduced training sessions with soft tissue work, trigger point release, flossing, and medication if necessary. The quicker you take care of the issue the quicker you’ll be back to training like you desire, armed with knowledge from the School of Hard Knocks to hopefully prevent the issue in the future!
Int J Sports Med. 2014 Oct;35(11):943-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1367049. Epub 2014 Jun 2.