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Tendons are thick cords that join your muscles to your bones. When these tendons become irritated or inflamed, it is called tendinitis. This condition causes acute pain and tenderness, making it difficult to move the affected joint.
Tendinitis can be a result of an injury, repetitive movement, aging, or disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Any tendon can develop tendinitis, but you’re most likely to develop the condition in your shoulder, elbow, heel, or wrist.
Tendinitis may also be called swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee, pitcher’s shoulder, or golfer’s or tennis elbow.
The most common cause of tendinitis is repetitive action, where the tendons needed to make a certain movement over and over. Usually, people develop tendinitis if they frequently make the same motion while playing sports or at work. The risk increases if the motion isn’t performed correctly.
Tendinitis can also result from:
Athletes who play certain sports — such as tennis, golf, bowling, or basketball — are at higher risk for tendinitis. You also may be at a higher risk if your job requires a lot of physical exertion, overhead lifting, and awkward positions.
The pain from tendinitis is typically a dull ache that is concentrated around the affected area or joint. It’ll increase when you move the injured area. The area will be tender and you’ll feel increased pain if someone touches it. You may experience a tightness that makes it difficult to move the area. You may also have some swelling.
If you develop the symptoms of tendinitis, begin by resting the area and applying ice. If your condition doesn’t improve after a few days of rest, make an appointment to see your doctor.
At your appointment, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam of the area where the pain is concentrated. They’ll examine your tenderness and range of motion.
Be prepared to tell your doctor about:
If your doctor cannot make a diagnosis using just a physical examination, they may order additional tests. These could include X-rays, MRI scans, or ultrasounds.
Treatment options for tendinitis seek to reduce pain and inflammation in the tendon. Some basic home remedies include:
If your condition is more severe, your doctor may also recommend:
When treated early, tendinitis usually resolves quickly. For some people, it can recur and become a chronic or long-term problem. If repetitive movements or overuse led to your tendinitis, you should change those behaviors to reduce your risk of developing it again.
You can cause additional injury — such as a tendon rupture — if the inflammation continues without treatment. Surgery is often necessary for a tendon rupture, and for those patients who don’t respond well to other treatments. The surgery removes any inflammatory tissue and is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
If you begin to feel the pain of tendinitis, stop the activity you’re performing. Take a 20-minute break to apply ice and rest.
Written by: Ann Pietrangelo
Published on: Jul 17, 2012on: Jul 03, 2017
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