What is Tendinopathy?

Tendinopathy (previously called tendonitis) is a term used to describe pain, swelling and damage to any tendon in the body. Tendinopathy can be caused by injury, overuse of the tendon, or wear and tear through ageing.


Tendons are fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. There are 23 tendons that cross the wrist into the hand. These tendons allow our hands to perform both delicate movements and powerful work.


The condition commonly occurs after an extra ‘load’ on the tendon. This ‘load’ can be an overly strong stretch, lifting a heavy weight, or increased repetitive use of the tendon. Wrist and hand tendinopathy is common in people whose work requires repeated use of their hands, such as musicians and computer typists.

Tendinopathy Symptoms

Typical symptoms of tendinopathy include:


  • Pain when moving the affected area
  • Pain that lingers after movement
  • Red or thickened tendons
  • Swelling and aching after activity
Hand Therapy, returning to work
Hand Conditions, De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, broken thumb, fractured scaphoid, splint, orthosis, Tendinopathy

Tendinopathy Assessment

A typical tendinopathy assessment includes:


  • A discussion of your symptoms and relevant medical history
  • A thorough examination of the affected area including tendons, muscles and joints
  • A strength test
  • A movement test
  • Load testing individual tendons

Tendinopathy Treatments

Tendinopathy treatment usually involves:


  • Education and advice on load management
  • Splinting or taping to rest the area – a custom-made splint will be made by your hand therapy practitioner at the initial appointment
  • Massage, dry needling or ice
  • A graduated exercise program
  • A schedule for returning to work or play (music or sport).
Theraband, hand therapy exercises, tendinopathy

What’s next?

If you have tendinopathy, consult one of our hand therapy practitioners today.


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For enquiries and appointments please call 03 9458 5166 or conveniently book online.