Tendinopathy is a common condition that many people experience. It’s a problem with the tendons – the tough, flexible bands of tissue that connect our muscles to our bones. When damage occurs to the tendons, it can cause pain and difficulty moving the affected area.

Tendons that commonly are affected include:

  1. Achilles Tendon: This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinopathy often occurs in runners and is one of the most common types of tendinopathy.
  2. Patellar Tendon: This tendon connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). Patellar tendinopathy, also known as jumper’s knee, is common in sports that involve jumping, such as basketball and volleyball.
  3. Rotator Cuff Tendons: The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons that stabilise the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tendinopathy can occur due to repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing or swimming.
  4. Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) and Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): These conditions involve the tendons around the elbow and are common in people who perform repetitive arm movements, such as tennis players or golfers.
  5. Hamstring Tendons: These tendons connect the hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh to the pelvis, knee, and lower leg. Hamstring tendinopathy is common in athletes, particularly those involved in running or jumping sports.

Traditionally, we focus on the physical side of things when we think about tendinopathy. We consider the damage to the tendon and how we can heal it. But a recent study published in the BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine shows that tendinopathy involves more than just the physical aspect.

This study suggests that our thoughts, feelings, and the world around us also influence tendinopathy. Health professionals call this the biopsychosocial model of health. The “bio” part refers to the biological or physical aspects of the condition. The “psycho” part refers to the psychological aspects, like our thoughts and feelings. And the “social” part refers to the impact of our social environment.

The study found that psychological factors, such as our confidence in managing our health (known as self-efficacy), and our fear of certain activities because they might cause pain (known as fear-avoidance), significantly impact our recovery from tendinopathy.

Our social environment, including our relationships with family and friends, our work environment, and our access to healthcare, can also influence our recovery.

So, what does this mean for you? If tendinopathy is causing you problems, remember that it’s not just about your body. Your mind and your social life play a big role too.

For example, stress or anxiety might make it harder for you to manage your symptoms. Or if you feel isolated or unsupported, it might be more difficult for you to stick to your treatment plan.

That’s why our clinic takes a holistic approach to treating tendinopathy. We don’t just focus on the physical symptoms. We also consider your mental and emotional wellbeing, and the role of your social environment.

We’re here to support you every step of the way, and to provide you with the tools and resources you need to manage your condition.

So, if tendinopathy (issues with your tendons) is troubling you, or if you have any concerns about your health, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, health is about more than just your body. It’s about your mind and your social life too. So let’s take care of all of you, together. Call us today.

*Please be aware individual results can vary, and this information is not intended as a guarantee of outcome. Always consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.


Edgar N, Clifford C, O’Neill S, et al. “Biopsychosocial approach to tendinopathy” BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2022;8:e001326. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2022-001326

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