Tendinitis

Tendinitis

Tendonitis can affect anybody, from office workers to athletes. Here’s how to keep your symptoms under control.

Tendonitis is a common problem, affecting athletes, office workers, and musicians alike. Indeed, it can affect almost any part of the body, though it’s most common in the tendons of the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. Some of the most frequent types include patellar tendinitis (or “jumper’s knee”), lateral epicondylitis in the elbow (or “tennis elbow”), and Achilles tendinitis.

As common as it is, however, tendonitis can be a debilitating condition, creating chronic pain and greatly restricting the patient’s range of motion. Fortunately, some basic knowledge of its common causes and symptoms can help you seek relief from this condition.

CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF TENDONITIS

Tendons are strands of elastic fibrous tissue that connect muscles to bones, providing stability to the joints and enabling a free range of motion. Any tendon in the body can become inflamed or irritated, causing pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected tissue.

The most common cause of tendonitis is prolonged stress or gradual wear caused by repetitive movements, though it can also be caused by sudden trauma. As a result, most people develop tendonitis while performing their jobs, enjoying hobbies that rely on a specific joint, or playing sports A typist, for example, is most likely to have tendonitis in the wrist, while weightlifters may suffer from biceps tendinitis. Aging also increases the likelihood of developing tendonitis, since tendons become less flexible with age.

TREATMENT FOR TENDONITIS

The severity of tendonitis can vary greatly depending on the specific cause of the inflammation and the particular tendon affected. Most cases of tendonitis, however, can be successfully treated without surgery. Some of the most common courses of treatment include:

  • Resting the affected area
  • Avoiding activities that cause flare-ups or increased pain
  • Taking over the counter anti-inflammatories like Advil or Aleve
  • Physical Therapy
  • Cortisone Injections

If your tendonitis does not respond to these conservative treatments, the inflamed tendon may need to be repaired with a minimally invasive surgery. During the procedure, your surgeon will mend any tears in the tendon and remove any permanently damaged tissue.

Since tendonitis is an injury that often results from overuse, the best treatment in many cases is simply to refrain from using the joint in question. Some effective preventative measures include stretching before exercise, wearing protective braces, using proper technique when lifting, and always maintaining correct posture.

Whether you suffer from tennis elbow or jumper’s knee, our team at New York Bone and Joint can help. With decades of combined experience in treating injured tendons, our specialists are able to provide comprehensive assistance at every stage of the process, from identifying the source of the problem to crafting a personalized treatment plan. If you worry that you may have tendonitis, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Best Ways to Treat, Prevent Tendonitis

The Best Ways to Treat, Prevent Tendonitis

Tennis elbow, quarterback shoulder, and jumper’s knee are forms of tendonitis, a painful but preventable injury.

Tendonitis is your body’s way of telling you, “Enough! You’re putting too much stress on this muscle and joint.”

Tendons are connective tissues that hold muscles to your bones. When muscles contract, tendons react, causing bones to move.

Too much stress on joints can tear and inflame tendons, says the American College of Rheumatology. The tissue will repair itself quickly if the damage is slight or happens only occasionally. But the pain can become constant if the damage happens often.

Weekend athletes recognize that tendonitis is a common result of overdoing it especially when the body is out of shape.

Other factors contribute to tendonitis:

  • Forceful or violent motions, such as pitching a fastball
  • Unnatural motions, like serving a tennis ball
  • Poor body mechanics or technique when doing an activity like aerobics, lifting weights, or painting the ceiling

Usually, several of these factors may be involved at once.

Is it tendonitis?

Chronic tendonitis is a dull but constant soreness that feels worse when you first start to move, then eases up as muscles get warmer.

Acute tendonitis is a sharper pain that may keep you from moving the joint. The pain eventually goes away, but it’s likely to return if the stressful motion is repeated.

Treating tendonitis

See your healthcare provider if you think you have tendonitis. Your provider may recommend the classic RICE treatment for pain relief: Rest the joint; apply ice packs; compress the area with an elastic bandage to reduce soreness and inflammation; and keep the joint elevated.

Your healthcare provider may recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, which may also help sore soft tissue.

If your healthcare provider gives you the OK, begin exercising to strengthen the muscles around the sore joint within a day or two. Start with a long warm-up to reduce shock to the tissues, then try lifting light weights or working with an elastic exercise band. Go easy at first, then build as your strength increases. Stretching is also an important part of treatment. Hold each stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.

Preventing tendonitis

A prevention program should replace bad habits with these methods that promote a healthy workout:

  • Warm up thoroughly, gradually building the intensity level of your workout. Cool down after the session.
  • Train for a new sport before you start it. Start building strength and flexibility in the muscles you will use a few weeks or months in advance.
  • Learn the proper method and use the proper equipment for any exercise or activity. Work out regularly, not just once a week.
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