Tendonitis is a common condition wherein the tendons that are connecting the muscles to the bone becomes inflamed. This condition usually attacks the shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, and could also combat any area of the body.
Primarily speaking, tendons are knowns as fibrous cords that serve as anchors of the joints. Tendons vary in sizes; they could be too small, and they could either be too big. They also come in different shapes.
Tendons play an essential part for our everyday movements. They help us move our fingers and they also help us stand and walk. Generally speaking, tendons help us with our motor activities.
However, there could be times where our tendons could be inflamed and there’s no denying it – it’s gonna be quite painful. Most of the time, causes of tendonitis are unknown. If ever identified, it could always be either of the two; the tendons are overused or overloaded.
Overused tendons are due to the excessive movements of an individual. Usually, overused tendons happen to athletes or people who are living an active lifestyle. One of the possible reasons why tendons get overused is because of the repetitive movements or actions. Excessive repetitions in movements or sports could damage the tendons.
Overloaded tendons take place if an individual lifts heavily. This usually happens depending on the level of a certain activity.
There are also unexpected instances that could lead to tendonitis such as gonorrhea, diabetes, inflammatory disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Another possible cause of tendonitis could be direct injuries. Such instances such as a sudden blow on the tendon could also lead to tendon infection.
Symptoms of Tendonitis
Symptoms of tendonitis may vary depending on the condition. However, the most common features of tendonitis are included in the following:
- Pain surrounding the joint
- Stiffness because of swelling
- Redness and warmth on the affected area
- Tenderness or weakness of the tendon
- A cracking-like sensation when moving
- Lump or bulge on the affected area
Symptoms may also depend on where the affected area is located. Usually, the pain would always be tied on one location – depending on which area is affected.
Diagnosis of Tendonitis
To rule out tendonitis, physical examinations must be conducted. The doctor will, of course, look after the existing symptoms. It is also necessary that the doctor make certain movements to further assess which tendon is sore or which part of your body is injured. Several questions might also be thrown since there are instances where tendonitis happen due to family medical history. The doctor also has to know which sport could have possibly injured your tendons.
For unclear diagnosis or recurring tendonitis, then it is possible that the doctor will have to conduct additional tests such as blood tests to check which area is inflamed, X-rays, and also MRI to have a clearer image of the damage.
There are several possible ways that one can treat tendonitis. Let’s try to break them down one by one.
After the doctor’s assessment, it is possible that he/she will have to ask you to apply ice on the affected area for at least 20 minutes on a fairly regular basis until the pain is gone.
It is also possible that your doctor will prescribe you some over-the-counter painkillers such as Advil and ibuprofen to help alleviate pain. These medications could help lessen not only the pain but could also help decrease the swelling.
Bracing or temporary splinting may also be advised for patients who will be needing support to make sure they refrain from too many movements. However, it is also necessary that the “frozen” joint be exercised or even moved from time to time. This is why some doctors suggest the patient undergo physical therapy so they could exercise the injured joint.
For patients who have really serious conditions, a rehabilitation program may also be advised. This program consists of various physical activities that could help them regain their strength, condition, and proper functioning. The length of recovery for a rehabilitation program will only depend on the kind of injury. Having said, it is important that the patient should take some time to rest and recover properly.
There could also be situations wherein the doctor could give out corticosteroid injections – anti-inflammatory medications. There are also rare cases wherein the patient has to undergo surgery. This usually happens if the other treatments aren’t helping at all.
How to prevent tendonitis?
Helpful precautions that could save you from having tendonitis are the following:
- Warm up or stretch before doing an exercise
- Increasing weights or intensity during exercises must be done gradually
- Wear comfortable shoes during training
- If you’re doing intense exercises, consult your coach on how to do the sport/program properly
- If you have health issues such as gonorrhea, consult your doctor on how to prevent tendonitis
We all know, tendonitis could put you in a painful condition. However, tendonitis could heal fast if the proper treatment is given.
We have already provided you with some precautions above that might help prevent you from having tendonitis. But if you by chance suspect you have it, then the only best solution for it is to seek help from a medical expert.