What is Tendonitis?
Tendonitis, also known as tendinitis, refers to the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, which is a thick cord-like structure that connects muscle to bone. Tendonitis commonly occurs due to repetitive or excessive strain on the tendon, resulting in pain, swelling, and restricted movement. It most frequently affects tendons in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles.
Patients suffer from Tendonitis (sometimes spelled Tendinitis) when the thick cords of tissue that join the muscles to your bones get irritated or inflamed. Tendonitis causes tenderness and pain, which makes it difficult to move the affected joint.
What Causes Tendinitis?
Tendons help you make a certain movement over and over. While playing sports or working, patients may develop tendinitis if they frequently make the same motion. Tendinitis can also result from:
- certain diseases, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
- certain antibiotics (quinolones such as Levaquin)
What Are The Common Types Of Tendonitis?
- Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Tendonitis affecting the tendons on the outer side of the elbow.
- Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): Tendonitis affecting the tendons on the inner side of the elbow.
- Achilles Tendonitis: Tendonitis affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Tendonitis affects the tendons of the rotator cuff in the shoulder.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tendinitis?
- Tenderness or swelling around the affected tendon.
- Pain that worsens with movement or activity involving the affected tendon.
- Stiffness or limited range of motion in the affected joint.
- A sensation of grating or crackling when moving the tendon.
What Are The Treatments For Tendinitis?
- Rest and Activity Modification: Avoiding activities that aggravate the tendon and modifying movements or techniques to reduce strain.
- Ice and Heat Therapy: Applying ice packs or cold compresses to reduce inflammation and pain, followed by heat therapy to promote blood flow and healing.
- Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended for severe symptoms.
- Physical Therapy: A structured rehabilitation program that includes stretching, strengthening exercises, and modalities like ultrasound or electrical stimulation to promote healing and restore function.
- Bracing or Immobilization: In some cases, using braces, splints, or casts may be necessary to provide support and protect the affected tendon during healing.
- Surgical Intervention: In severe cases of tendonitis that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgical repair or debridement of the tendon may be considered.
How to Prevent Tendonitis:
- Proper Technique: Use proper form and technique during physical activities to reduce strain on tendons.
- Gradual Progression: Gradually increase the intensity and duration of activities to allow tendons to adapt.
- Warm-Up and Cool-Down: Perform proper warm-up and cool-down routines before and after exercise.
If you suspect you have tendinitis, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider. They can provide a proper diagnosis, recommend appropriate treatment, and offer guidance on managing the condition effectively. Ignoring tendinitis or overusing the affected area can lead to more severe injuries.
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