Education is arguably the most important component of treatment for someone with tendon pain. This very brief blog goes through the major areas of knowledge that benefit people recovering from tendon pain (and many other conditions for that matter). The figure below also provides a summary of some of this information.
1) Pain and pain beliefs: People often think their condition is much worse than what it is. For example, that pain means that the tendon may rupture at any time, or that they should avoid all activities that are painful. This is often not true for most people. Some pain with activity is normal and acceptable. It can often be reassuring for people to know they are not damaging their tendon if it is a little sore.
2) Expectations: How long will it take to get better? What will I need to do? How much pain can I expect along the way? These are common questions people with tendon pain have. It helps to know what to expect as you are navigating through your treatment. How long it will take often depends on your level of pain and function.
3) Self-efficacy: As well as knowing what you need to do to manage your tendon pain, it is also very important to know how to do these things. People with tendon pain should be able to gauge how much activity they should be doing, how much pain is acceptable, and how to progress their activity. You need to have the confidence to know you can make decisions that are going to help your tendon pain.
4) Modifying activity: A final area that I will cover is knowledge about modifying activity. There are often movements or postures that can provoke tendon pain and we often inform and educate patients to avoid these in the short term whilst they are recovering.
The main message from this brief blog is that people with tendon pain are ultimately the key stakeholders and they can be empowered to self-manage and resolve their tendon pain issues in the shortest time possible. Make sure your health professional is providing the education and knowledge you need. Knowledge is power!