Tendinitis: what it is and how to identify this inflammation

Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons and its resolution is usually simple. Understand how to prevent it. Click To Tweet

Tendinitis is known as an inflammation that affects a tendon in the body. Consequently, the movement of this tendon becomes limited, as well as the joints, which become more rigid and sore. Tendons are designed to connect muscles and bones and provide strength so that the motion of the joint is possible.

At the origin of this issue, there may be an injury or the excessive use of the injured tendon, whether by repetitive motion or by being overweight. This issue may affect different tendons in the body, which may result in debilitating pain.

Where is tendinitis located

Tendinitis can affect any tendon, but some of them are more prone to this inflammation than others. Among the more affected areas, we can refer to the shoulder, elbow, knee, wrist, and the “so-called” Achilles tendon. The causes of each of these tendinitis may slightly vary.

For example, tendinitis of the shoulder is rather related to sports activities, like swimming and tennis. Tendinitis of the knee is also quite associated with certain sports practices, namely, basketball and running. In this case, the affected area is around the kneecap.

With multiple causes at the origin, tendinitis of the wrist usually affects the tendon that is located in the posterior area, based on the thumb. Also, there is tendinitis that affects the Achilles tendon, which results in pain in the posterior area of the heel.

Tendinitis: what it is and how to identify this inflammation

Causes

Your body has multiple tendons, that for many reasons, can get inflamed and thus, resulting in tendinitis. In most cases, causes can be seen through heavy lifting or repetitive motion; that’s why tendinitis is common in people who run or play certain sports.

In other situations, the origin of this problem could be trauma-related injuries, advanced age, taking antibiotics, or chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms

The main symptom of tendinitis is the aching pain that affects the tendon, mostly in the area closest to the bone. Besides pain, one can also experience rigidness, loss of motion, swelling, redness, and an increase in the skin temperature in the affected area.

Symptomatic manifestation can be temporary (for a few days) or, rather, prolonged for weeks or even months.

Tendinitis: what it is and how to identify this inflammation

Treatment

The treatment for tendinitis depends on many factors, such as the affected area, the symptoms manifested, and the duration of the latter.

Still, in the first stage, some simple measures can be adopted, like avoiding movement of the inflamed tendon, applying ice or heat in the affected area, and compressing the area, resorting, for example, to a compression bandage.

During this stage, it’s still convenient to avoid every single activity that could worsen the tendinitis, as is the case of strenuous efforts or heavy lifting. If the pain lingers, you can resort to a painkiller, like paracetamol or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs in tablets or applied topically (ointment or gel).

In more persistent severe cases, it’s advisable to seek a health assessment by a provider, because in some situations, there could be the need for infiltrations with corticosteroids, physiotherapy, massage therapy, shock wave therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, or even surgery.

Prevention and good habits

Certain tendinitis have their origin in causes that could be prevented, if some measures are adopted, such as:

  • Warming up and stretching, before and after a sports activity.
  • Interrupting repetitive motion.
  • Reinforcing muscle tissues, through appropriate exercises for that effect.
  • Having a healthy diet.
  • Improving posture (sitting with relaxed shoulders, placing elbows and knees at a 90º angle and feet flat on the ground or other surface).
  • Having ergonomic office furniture.
  • Working out.
  • Avoiding stress.

Keep in mind our caution tips and learn how to treat and prevent the infamous tendinitis.

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Written by

Unilabs