Tendonitis is described as inflammation, swelling, and irritation of a tendon. It is a painful condition that is most often felt at the tendon insertion site. Tendons are bands of fibrous material that attach muscle to the bone.
Tendonitis usually occurs in middle or old age and develops when people have used the same motion over and over again for an extended period of time.
When tendonitis occurs in younger people, it is usually caused by performing the same motion very frequently over a short period of time. The most common areas which tendonitis occurs is in the tendons of the hands, tendons of the upper arm that connect with the shoulder, and the tendons that run across the top of the foot and the Achilles tendon.
Swelling and Pain
Tendons are a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the muscle to the bone, and allows for the muscles to stretch and move while connecting the force of the action to the bone. When a tendon becomes inflamed, the main symptom of tendonitis is pain. There may be quite a bit of pain experienced when trying to lift or move the injured area.
Another symptom of tendonitis which may be experienced is redness and swelling of the area, plus tenderness when touched. It is also possible for the tendon to be separated from the muscle, only to be realigned though surgery.
Regardless of the symptoms of tendonitis, it is best to treat it right away. Tendonitis is often brought on by age as the tendons lose their elasticity as we get older and are more prone to injury.
Tendons can be injured in two ways, by either sudden stretching or repeated use. In either case, the tendon may be pulled, torn, twisted, or otherwise damaged. When the body tries to heal injured tendons, it increases the blood flow to the injured tissues and sends nutrients to the tissues to help them heal. It also sends chemicals designed to fight possible infection to the damaged area.
Tendonitis is usually fairly easy to diagnose. The discomfort described by the patient provides the first clue to determine what is causing the pain. Activities that are repeated over and over again to the injured area suggest the possibility of tendonitis and the doctor can usually confirm a diagnosis by applying pressure on an injured area or trying to move a sore joint.
Calcium Build Up
Tendonitis can also be associated with a calcium deposit, which can cause inflammation. In rare cases, it may also result from a disease. There are various methods to treat tendonitis including strict rest to the affected area, application of ice to reduce swelling for the first 24 to 48 hours, plus anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Treatments often prescribed by a doctor include physical therapy, weight loss, shoe inserts, anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections, and in extreme cases, surgery to repair the tendon.
The symptoms of tendonitis that are produced near a joint are usually aggravated by movement and include pain, mild swelling, and tenderness. There are also specific types of tendonitis which include tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, adductor tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, and rotator cuff tendonitis.
The pain of tendonitis is usually found to be worse with activities that use the muscle that is attached to the involved tendon. As tendons are usually surrounded by a sheath of tissue which is similar to the lining of the joints, they are subject to the wear and tear of aging, inflammatory diseases, and direct injury