Tendon Pain Linked to Diabetes
Researchers at the University of Canberra in Australia have found that people with type 2 diabetes are more than three times as likely as those without the disease to have tendon pain, known as tendinopathy. And people with diagnosed tendinopathy have 30 percent higher odds of having diabetes.
Exercise is an important part of managing type 2 diabetes, but tendon pain can make that physical activity difficult to impossible.
“People with diabetes are more likely to develop tendinopathy, but the opposite is also true -- people with tendinopathy are more likely to have undiagnozed diabetes,” senior author Jamie Gaida told Reuters Health. “Tendinopathy is a problem for two key reasons,” he said. “First, feeling pain during movements that load the tendon is unpleasant, and second, having a painful tendon stops you being physically active.”
Tendinopathy refers to injuries and inflammation of the tendons, the soft tissues that connect muscles to bones, usually due to overuse or repetitive movements. To examine its relationship with type 2 diabetes, Gaida and colleagues reviewed 31 previous studies. Twenty-six of them focused on people with type 2 diabetes while five focused on people with diagnosed tendinopathy.
When they combined and reanalyzed the data in all the studies, the team found that people with type 2 diabetes were 3.67 times more likely to develop tendinopathy compared to control participants without diabetes. People with tendinopathy were 1.3 times more likely than controls to have diabetes.
The study team also found that people with diabetes were more likely to have thickened tendons, which is often seen in tendinopathy. And people with both tendinopathy and diabetes typically had been diagnosed diabetic for longer than those with diabetes but no tendon problems. “The risk of tendinopathy increases with the number of years that you’ve had diabetes,” Gaida said.