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)

Achilles tendonitis

Tendonitis in elbow

Tennis Elbow

Golfer’s 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:

Specific injury

Overuse or overexertion


Systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis



Psoriatic arthritis

Thyroid disease

In addition, there are many activities, which if done in excess, can cause tendonitis. A few of these include:

  • Gardening, raking

Carpentry, shoveling

Painting, scrubbing

Tennis, golf, skiing

Throwing and pitching

Treatment Stages

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

B) Medications

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.

C) Surgery

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.