Tendonitis is a painful condition that affects the tendons, which are the bands that connect human muscles to bones. Tendons are flexible, fibrous, rope-like tissue which allows flexibility of movement.
Tendonitis occurs when the tendons become inflamed. Inflammation might occur as a result of an injury or irritation. Also, a tear in the tendon – even a tiny one – can result in painful tendonitis.
The affected area may appear swollen, may be warm to the touch, and can even turn red. The joint might also feel weak.
Where Can Tendonitis Occur?
Tendons are located wherever muscles are present in the body, and they can be small or large – depending on their location. For instance, the tendons in the hand, wrist, and feet are smaller than those supporting the calf and thigh muscles.
And as with all other parts of the body, tendons are susceptible to injury. Let’s review some of the signs, symptoms, and factors that are involved in tendonitis.
What Causes Tendonitis?
You may experience tendonitis and have no idea how the affected tendon was hurt in the first place. Tendonitis may occur simply because the tendon was overworked.
If you’re experiencing tendon pain, and can pinpoint a repeated action related to the painful area, the motion that was repeated over and over again might be the cause.
Exerting too much weight or activity on a tendon can be another reason why tendonitis occurs. Even poor posture can be a factor.
Tendonitis is sometimes caused by an infection, but this is extremely rare. Another rare occurrence is when tendonitis accompanies diabetes or occurs following the use of certain antibiotics. Medical science has been unable to determine why either of these sometimes occurs.
Areas Commonly Affected by Tendonitis
Certain areas of a person’s body tend to experience more wear-and-tear than others. Below are the tendons that are most prone to tendonitis:
The large Achilles tendon is located at the back of the foot area, and it attaches the heel bone to the calf muscle. Sports injury is the most common reason for Achilles tendonitis, as excessive exercise can overwork the tendon and result in injury.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Achilles tendon injuries account for between 30 and 50 percent of all sports-related injuries in the U.S.
The rotator cuff is the most common area in the shoulder affected by tendonitis.
Rotator cuff tendonitis affects the supraspinatus muscle, which is the muscle that is attached to the upper arm bone in the upper back area.
The tendon attached to the infraspinatus muscle, which is one of the other four rotator cuff muscles, can also be affected. The infraspinatus is the triangular shoulder muscle that provides stabilization to the joint and also rotates the upper arm/humerus bone.
The knee is a complicated joint where tendonitis can occur in the lower knee, in the patellar tendon, or in the tendon of the upper kneecap (quadriceps tendon). Knee tendonitis is very common, especially in people who participate in sports such as basketball or volleyball.
Despite its small size, the elbow can incur more than one type of tendonitis.
Commonly known as tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis affects the elbow joint, causing pain to the outer side of the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is tendonitis that causes pain to the inner side of the elbow joint.
De Quervain’s disease may be the reason for pain experienced on the back of the wrist at the thumb’s base. De Quervain’s disease often occurs with pregnancy, though there is no definitive reason why this occurs.
Treatments for Tendonitis
Your health care professional may suggest taking an anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, to relieve swelling and to reduce the pain associated with tendonitis. Icing the area up to four times a day, and immediately after an activity that causes painful symptoms, can also be helpful.
Resting the joint is most effective, as it allows healing to take place. The body needs time to repair. Rarely is surgery necessary, though your doctor may suggest it when all other options fail to subdue the pain you are experiencing.
Physical Therapist in Austin