What you need to know about tendonitis
Tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon – a dense, fibrous cord that attaches our muscles to our bones. This condition is more common in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, thumbs, knees and heels. It causes pain and tenderness around the joint. Tendonitis is your body’s way of telling you, “Enough!”
Although tendonitis is particularly painful, it can often be cured with good rest. But if not treated properly, it can lead to a very serious condition where the tendon ruptures – something that may require surgery. For these reasons, it is important to know the signs and symptoms.
What causes tendonitis
Tendonitis is caused by repetitive movements with even little impact. It occurs after sudden or serious injuries. It is also important to watch your posture for long periods or when you stretch do it properly.
Other factors include: rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders or unusual reactions to medication and use of certain antibiotics. Rarely, tendonitis is caused by an infection. For uncertain reasons, tendonitis is also common in people with diabetes.
The symptoms and signs of tendonitis occur when the tendon touches the bone directly and include pain in the limb or joint, sensitivity, mild swelling, warm to the touch.
Most common forms of tendonitis
Tennis elbow tendonitis is felt in the outer side of the elbow, extending down to the forearm and wrist, affecting 40% to 50% of all adult athletes who play racquet sports. But It can be caused by any activity with repeatedly twists and flexes of the wrist, such gardening, using tools or even carrying weights.
Golfer’s elbow tendonitis pain is felt in the inner side of the elbow. It is occurs in tasks that require repeated elbow movements. In sports, it can be triggered by repeatedly swinging a golf club or pitching a baseball.
Jumper’s knee tendonitis occurs either below the kneecap or just above it. It is a common overuse injury, especially in basketball players and distance runners.
Rotator cuff tendonitis, in the shoulder, is the most common, a dull, aching shoulder pain that can’t be tied to one location. It involves the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle, attaching to the upper portion of the upper arm bone (humerus) at the shoulder joint. The pain radiates into the upper arm, the chest and gets worse at night. Is it caused by injury in sports or occupations, such as carpentry, painting, welding, swimming, golf, and racquet sports.
Wrist tendonitis appears in the form of de Quervain’s disease, causing pain in the back of the wrist at the base of the thumb. It occurs to people using repeatedly the thumb to grasp or pinch, over use of cell phone or computer mouse are common causes.
Achilles tendonitis affects the tendon from the heel bone at the back of the foot, caused by overuse, in sports requiring running or repeated jumping, and it accounts for 15% of all running injuries. It is also brought on by faulty running technique or poorly fitting shoes. In rare cases, it is related to an inflammatory illness, reactive arthritis, gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
Suggestions to follow to avoid tendonitis
Take it easy. Avoid activities exerting too much stress on your tendons, requiring repetitive movements for prolonged periods, and if necessary take frequent breaks, and when you feel pain, stop and rest.
Balance your activities, mix up an intense impact exercise such as running, with lesser impact exercise, such as biking or swimming.
Improve your movements get instructions when you start a new sport or use specific equipment at work. Wear proper shoes that support your feet, especially if you do sports requiring running, and jumping. A Physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine may be very helpful.
Stretch after exercising, when your muscles are warmed up it minimizes repetitive trauma on tight tissues. Use proper workplace ergonomic desk and chair. Adjust your chair, keyboard and desktop as recommended for your height, arm length and tasks. This protects all your joints and tendons from excessive stress.
Prepare your muscles in advance by a proper warm-up and build up your pace gradually.
Treatment for tendonitis
If the tendonitis does not improve within a week of rest or the pain gets worse, seek medical advice. You may be prescribed a corticosteroid medication, physical therapy and, in more severe cases, surgery. The quicker you treat it, the sooner you’ll recover full strength and flexibility. Depending on the location and severity of tendonitis, you may need temporary splinting, bracing or a sling, particularly for the shoulder tendonitis.
Most cases of tendinitis are successfully treated with rest, require an appointment at Eversharp Physical Therapy Center , and a PT will offer specialized local treatments, using ultrasound, friction massage or water therapy to improve joint mobility. Furthermore, he will guide you through a rehabilitation program that will help you to regain strength, motion and function the length of which depends on the type and severity of your tendonitis.