Tendon pain is not as straight forward as Dr. Google tries to make it. While I understand most bloggers, friends and relatives have degrees from the Google School of Medicine, more often than not, well intentioned recommendations for managing tendon pain are inappropriate for patients.
If your buddy had a pair of glasses that helped his vision, I doubt you would assume that those same glasses would be appropriate for you. However, when it comes to treating low back pain, Achilles pain, hamstring tears, tennis elbow, shoulder pain, etc, etc…many people assume that the rehab exercises that helped their cousin will certainly help them.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Many patients then question us when we recommend stopping the stretching, foam rolling or exercises that they have been doing for 6 months without success.
Let’s take lateral hip pain as an example. Dr. Google will typically recommend the following two interventions:
Unfortunately, the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus tendons get very compressed by the bone underneath it and thus, the tendon has a hard time healing. The role that compression plays in tendon pain cannot be understated. However, many patients don’t know the detailed anatomy (and they shouldn’t have to) so they have a hard time understanding what we mean when we talk about compression.
In an effort to improve patient education (and make life easier for me) I made a 5 minute video for patients to watch to help them understand WHY we recommend some of the exercises we do and WHY they should avoid others.
Anyway, here is the video