Tendonitis is an inflammation of the cord-like structure at a point where a muscle narrows down to join a bone.
The structure, known as a tendon is a tough but flexible band of fibrous tissue. This structure performs the crucial function of connecting the muscles with the bones.
In tendonitis, the tendons get inflamed, irritated or suffer microscopic tears. The action of pulling the muscle becomes painful. The most common areas where tendons get inflamed include the elbow, wrist, biceps, shoulder, leg, knee, ankle, hip and Achilles.
Tendonitis is more common in adults above the age 40. The main explanation of this being that as the tendons age, they tolerate less stress, lose their elasticity and are easier to tear.
Types of Tendonitis
Various kinds of tendonitis have been observed, centered on different body parts. The mains ones in these include:
Wrist tendonitis (Quervain’s disease)
Tendonitis in elbow
Tendonitis in knee (Jumper’s knee)
Patellar (kneecap) tendonitis
Rotator cuff tendonitis, in the shoulder
The main generalized symptoms of tendonitis include tenderness directly over the tendon, pain with movement of muscles and tendons and swelling of the tendon. The symptoms of tendonitis generally get aggravated at night.
Causes of Tendonitis
Tendonitis can occur due to one of the below causes:
Overuse or overexertion
Systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
In addition, there are many activities, which if done in excess, can cause tendonitis. A few of these include:
- Gardening, raking
Tennis, golf, skiing
Throwing and pitching
A) Initial Stage
The initial stage of treatment can include one or more of the below:
Adequately warming up before physical activity
Avoid activities that seem to aggravate the problem
Avoid repetitive motion and overuse of extremity
Resting the injured area from heavy activity
Icing the area the same time as the injury
Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines
If the above seem to have a negligible or no effect in a week’s time, the following medications might be resorted to:
Corticosteroid injections, often used because they provide quick relief from inflammation and pain.
Physical therapy, including range of motion exercises and splinting.
Surgical intervention is sought in very rare and extreme cases, where none of the above has any healing effect.
Prevention of Tendonitis
The following measures should be adopted to prevent tendonitis:
- Gradually build up your activity level, instead of starting abruptly
Use limited force and limited repetitions
Stop if unusual pain occurs during a particular activity.