Tendonitis or Tendon Overuse Injuries

Tendon overuse injuries are extremely common in dancers and performing artists, are the result of overuse or overtraining, and can occur in multiple body regions. Tendon issues can include Achilles tendonitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, flexor hallucis longus (FHL) tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, hip flexor or gluteal tendonitis, or hamstring tendonitis, in addition to any tendon issues of the upper body in the shoulders, elbows, wrist or hand. Tendon overuse is often found in our patients who practice ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, or other styles that require a lot of repetitive movements and jumping in dance. It can also occur during a growth spurt in younger dancers, as the bones grow more quickly than the nearby muscles attaching to those bones.

Most tendon issues are addressed over time through progressive loading of the tendon in order to facilitate a faster healing process on a cellular level. Due to the need to load the tendon, sometimes this can involve mild discomfort when completing certain exercises; this is actually recommended by the most current evidence for all tendon overuse issues, in order to load the tendon and promote healing appropriately. Our dance and performing arts medicine specialists can help you determine what is best for your individual condition and presentation. We never want pain to be excessive, but in the case of any tendon issue, pushing through mild discomfort is not a bad thing.