Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon which causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint. Tendonitis may occur in any of the bodys tendons and is typically common around the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and heels.
The more severe cases of tendonitis may lead to the rupture of a tendon and may need surgical repair. In less severe cases of tendonitis, rest and medications are used to reduce the pain and inflammation, along with preventive measures to reduce the chances of developing tendonitis.
Tendonitis may become chronic or long term and can even lead to the rupture of a tendon. It may also cause permanent damage to the tissue which makes up the tendons.
When diagnosing tendonitis, most physicians will advise treatment such as rest and applying ice packs to the injured area. Non steroidal medication such as ibuprofen may help to reduce the inflammation and pain.
If the symptoms of tendonitis are more severe, the physician may also provide an injection of cortisone to relieve the pain. A cortisone injection is an anti-inflammatory medication that will help with the pain and inflammation, Long term treatment of tendonitis includes protecting the tendon from becoming strained until it is fully healed.
The most common causes of tendonitis are strain, over exertion, repetitive movements, and sudden, unaccustomed movements. Tendonitis is most common in seniors and middle aged people as the tendons of older individuals lack the elasticity of younger people and have sustained hundreds of microscopic tears due to daily wear and tear over the years.
There are certain diseases that can cause tendonitis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, Reiters Syndrome, lupus, and diabetes. Some common types of tendonitis include rotator cuff tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis, and flexor digital tenosynovitis, (also known as trigger finger).
Serious complications of tendonitis may include muscle wasting and disability. The shoulder is the most vulnerable joint as it can freeze up, this is a condition known as Ã¢â‚¬Å“frozen shoulder.Ã¢â‚¬Â In serious cases, the rotator cuff tendons can tear, which may lead to prolonged weakness and pain within the shoulder.
Because most cases of tendonitis are caused by overuse, the best treatment is prevention. It is important to avoid or modify the activities causing the problem.
Underlying conditions such s improper posture or poor technique in sports or work must be corrected. It is important to take all activities slow at first and gradually build up the activity level.
Using limited force and limited repetitions are important and it is also vital that the activity is stopped if unusual pain occurs.
As athletes are prone to tendonitis, cross training, stretching, and decreasing the intensity of their exercises may help prevent them developing tendonitis.
Tendonitis can usually be treated with rest, ice, and medicine to relieve pain and to decrease swelling. Many episodes of tendonitis can be treated by over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen. More serious episodes will need to be treated by prescribed medications.
Other treatments include ultrasound, physical therapy, and steroid injections. Surgery is usually considered a last alternative if the tendonitis symptoms are extreme.