Persistent tendon pain that impairs function has inconsistent medical terms that can influence choice of treatment.1 When a person is told they have tendinopathy by clinician A or tendinitis by clinician B, they might feel confused or be alarmed at receiving what they might perceive as two different diagnoses. This may lead to loss of confidence in their health professional and likely adds to uncertainty if they were to search for information about their condition. Clear and uniform terminology also assists inter-professional communication. Inconsistency in terminology for painful tendon disorders is a problem at numerous anatomical sites.
Historically, the term ‘tendinitis’ was first used to describe tendon pain, thickening and impaired function (online supplementary figure S1). The term ‘tendinosis’ has also been used in a small number of publications, some of which were very influential.2 3 Subsequently, ‘tendinopathy’ emerged as the most common term for persistent tendon pain.4 5 To our knowledge, experts (clinicians and researchers) or patients have never engaged in a formal process to discuss the terminology we use. We believe that health professionals have not yet agreed on the appropriate terminology for painful tendon conditions.
- overuse injury