Do you participate in sports, exercise, or manual labor? If so, you’re probably prone to aches and pains in and around your joints. When you overdo it, especially with repetitive motion, your musculoskeletal system is at risk of injury. Tendonitis, also known as tendinopathy or tendinitis, is a common type of injury.
What is Tendonitis?
Tendons are thick tissue bands that connect bone to muscle. These connective tissues are important components of the musculoskeletal system because they allow you to move. Tendonitis is a broad term that refers to inflammation or irritation of the tendons.
Tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, golfer’s elbow, shoulder tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, jumper’s knee, and wrist tendonitis are all common tendon injuries. Repetitive motion is the most common cause of tendonitis. Acute and serious injury or a minor impact on the affected area. This condition can occur anywhere there are tendons, but it is most common in the following areas:
- Achilles tendon
- The base of the thumbs
Tendonitis can affect anyone
Anyone can get tendonitis, but it is more common in individuals who do repetitive activities, such as:
- Basketball, skiing, golf, and tennis
- Landscaping and gardening
Other risk factors include the following:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Kidney or blood diseases
- Poor posture
- Aging, less elastic tendons that can tolerate less stress and tear more easily.
- Certain medications
Symptoms of Tendonitis
Tendonitis is characterized by sudden inflammation and pain. Symptoms can appear gradually, often after a period of intense activity. These are the most typical signs and symptoms.:
- Pain with movement
- Swelling of the tendon
- A grating or cracking sensation when you move a joint
- Tenderness directly over the injured area
- Stiffness due to swelling
- A bilge or lump on the tendon itself
You should see a healthcare provider or physical therapist in the following situations:
- If the pain does not go away in a few days,
- If your symptoms are severe,
- If you have recurring tendon pain
Tendonitis affects only a few of the hundreds of tendons in the human body. Because they are connected to fewer blood vessels, these tendons heal slowly after injury due to insufficient blood supply. The following are the most common causes of tendonitis:
- Forceful or sudden motions, such as pitching a baseball or heavy lifting
- Poor body mechanics when performing activities like painting or working out
- Extreme or unnatural movements like serving a tennis ball or dancing
Chronic tendinitis is frequently caused by overusing a tendon while playing sports, working, or doing other activities. Chronic tendinitis is frequently caused by repetitive movements, such as those used in sports like tennis and golf or on an assembly line. Acute tendon injuries can also result in tendonitis.
This condition is diagnosed by healthcare providers based on the patient’s symptoms and a physical exam. If the cause is unknown, additional tests such as an MRI and x-rays may be performed. Because magnetic resonance imaging shows soft tissues, it is ideal for identifying an injured tendon. X-rays rule out any bone injuries.
Treatment Options for Tendonitis
The primary goal of tendonitis treatment is to limit movements that can cause additional tendon inflammation. Depending on the location of the injury, you may need to modify or reduce daily activities such as typing or driving until your symptoms subside. The following are the first-line treatments:
- Ice packs
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Medical treatment for tendonitis involves the following elements:
- Reducing inflammation
- Limiting movement
- Rehabilitating the injured muscle, tendon, and joint
Nonsurgical treatment options are recommended by healthcare providers to relieve pain and other symptoms and restore function. Many people find long-term pain relief with alternative treatments such as:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can relieve inflammation and help the patient feel better.
Physical therapists work with patients one-on-one to strengthen their tendons and reduce inflammation. They provide tailored physical therapy to help patients achieve their health objectives.
These injections can help relieve pain and inflammation, but doctors only recommend using them for a short time.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
Growth factors in platelets promote healing, particularly tendon recovery. Your doctor will blend platelets from one blood sample with another to boost growth factors and platelets. The doctor injects treated blood into the swollen tendon to repair it.
If you have chronic, long-term pain and these treatments only work temporarily or not at all, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure. Your doctor will make small incisions to more precisely access and repair the involved tendon. This leads to less tissue injury and a faster recovery.
Occupational or physical therapy may be alternative to surgery. Physical therapists provide exercises to strengthen muscles and tendons to reduce pain and enhance range of motion.
Prevention Tips for Tendonitis
If you are at risk of developing tendonitis, you should take the following prevention steps.
If you are an athlete,
- Warm up before working out and cool down afterward.
- Work out regularly.
- Use athletic equipment properly.
- Spend several weeks strengthening new muscles and stretching before starting a new sport.
When performing daily tasks or at work:
- Take regular breaks.
- Improve your overall flexibility and strength.
- Wear wraps, splints, and other supportive devices to protect your tendons.
- Change your activity type frequently.
Benefits of Seeking Professional Help for Treating Tendonitis
- Regaining mobility
- Relief from pain and inflammation
- It is safer
- Learning how to manage your condition through proper work habits and exercise techniques
- Learning techniques that can reduce stress on your joints
- Learning how to prevent further injury
- Access to special exercise equipment
- Faster recovery
Treatment for Tendonitis in Saratoga Springs, UT
You are entitled to a pain-free life. We provide individualized care at Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute to help you get back on your feet. We are experts in treating the following musculoskeletal and skin diseases and conditions:
- Achilles rupture/tear surgery
- Sprained ankle treatment
- Chronic ankle instability
- Arthritis pain treatment
- Ankle fracture diagnosis and treatment
- Plantar warts
- Wound care
- Gait problems
- Bunion pain relief
- Plantar fasciitis treatment
- Broken foot and toe treatment
- Ingrown toenail treatment
- Diabetic foot pain
- Heel spur treatment
- Flat feet treatment
- Hammertoe treatment
- Athlete’s foot treatment
- Neuroma treatment