Tendinitis is irritation or an inflammation of a tendon, the thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to the bone. This condition can cause pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
Also known as tendonitis, tendinitis is caused by tendon inflammation. It occurs when a tendon gets injured. It often develops at the wrist, finger, elbow, thigh, and other body parts where there is a higher density of muscles and tendons. There are various names for this type of injury depending on location, such as golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, pitcher’s shoulder and Achilles tendinitis. Many tendinitis cases can be treated successfully with rest, physical therapy and medicines to reduce pain. If tendinitis is severe and causes rupture of a tendon, you may need surgery.
What is tendinitis?
Tendinitis is an injury that occurs when we injure or overexert our fibrous connective tissues that attach muscles to bones. Many people develop tendinitis owing to their hobbies or jobs involve repetitive motions that may put stress on the tendons. Using an appropriate technique is especially important when performing repetitive sports movements or job-related activities.
Tendinitis is more common when occupations involve:
- Repetitive motions
- Awkward positions
- Frequent overhead reaching
- Forceful exertion
Sports that involve repetitive movements/motions, particularly if your technique is not optimal can provoke tendinitis Examples are:
What are the symptoms of tendinitis?
Some of the classic symptoms of tendinitis are:
- A dull ache when moving the affected area
- Mild swelling
- Tenderness in the injured area
When do you need to see a doctor?
In several cases, tendinitis goes away by itself. But if the signs and symptoms last for over 48 hours and the pain does not subside, and it interferes with your lifestyle and daily activities, consult your doctor immediately .
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How is tendinitis prevented?
Some steps can be taken, such as:
- Avoid activities that place excessive stress on the tendons, particularly for prolonged periods.
- Mix up impact-loading exercise, such as running, with lower impact exercise, such as biking or swimming.
- Improve your technique
- Use proper workplace ergonomics
- Prepare your muscles before playing sport or working out
What are the remedies for tendinitis?
For tendinitis, your doctor may recommend medications like Pain relievers, Corticosteroids or Platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
You might need a program of specific exercise designed to stretch and strengthen the affected muscle-tendon unit.
In circumstances where physical therapy has not resolved the symptoms, your doctor may suggest:
- Dry needling: This is a procedure that involves making small holes with a fine needle in the tendon to stimulate the factors involved in the tendon healing.
- Ultrasonic treatment: This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small cut/incision to insert a special device which removes the tendon scar tissue through ultrasonic sound waves.
- Surgery: Surgical repair may be required depending on the severity of your tendon injury, particularly if the tendon has torn away from the bone.
R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is the acronym to remember to treat tendinitis at home. This therapy can help speed your recovery and help prevent further problems.
Like all the other injuries, if detected early, tendinitis and resolves on its own. But if it persists and does not recover on its own, make sure that you visit a doctor and get yourself treated. Monitoring the injury is important. If ignored, it can lead to chronic problems that may spell trouble in the future and even cause immobility. Prevention is better than cure, as always.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is tendinitis a painful injury?
Yes, tendinitis can cause pain, swelling, tenderness and even immobility of the injured area to some extent.
- Can tendinitis heal on its own?
If taken care by applying treatment remedies such as compression, ice-packs and elevation, the inflammation and pain can go away on their own. But it is best to monitor the injury and consult a doctor if it persists for a longer than usual time period.
- Is tendinitis a treatable injury?
Yes, this injury can be treated