Definition of Tendonitis

A tendon is the tissue that puts force of the muscle contraction to the bone and is responsible for moving your bones so that you can walk, run, jump and lift things. Without tendons your bones would not be able to move. Your tendons are not just all one size; they come in different shapes and sizes because your bones are all different sizes.

Your fingers only need some tendons but your heel needs to have a much larger tendon called your Achilles tendon in order to allow the movement to occur in your foot. Normally your tendons move smoothly as the muscle contracts.

If your tendon should become inflamed, the action of pulling the muscle than becomes irritating to your tendon and the movement is not smooth and it will also become painful. The inflammation of the tendon is called “tendonitis”.


There are many causes for tendonitis including overuse such as when an individual overextends himself or herself while doing an exercise program. There can also be age-related changes that initiate the tendonitis such as changes in the blood vessels that supple the needed nutrition to the tendons.

Another cause is anatomical in nature as in when the path the tendon moves on is not smooth causing the tendon to become irritated and inflamed. When the cause is anatomical, the treatment may include surgical intervention in order to realign the tendon.


There are different types of tendonitis depending on the location of the tendon injury. Wrist tendonitis occurs when the tendon sheath of the wrist is inflamed. This is a common injury and the symptoms are pain and swelling around the wrist.

Another common tendon injury is Achilles tendonitis. Proper treatment can prevent Achilles tendon rupture.

A common tendonitis takes place in the patella (kneecap) often called Jumper’s Knee. Basketball players often get Patellar Tendonitis. They are treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis happens in the shoulder and is sometimes called shoulder bursitis.


One telltale sign of tendonitis is pain and tenderness just outside a joint. It can occur in any of the many body’s tendons. The most common locations of tendonitis though are the elbows, heels, shoulders and wrists.

The location of the pain when you have tennis elbow is on the outer side of your forearm and near your elbow and you feel this pain when you rotate your forearm like when you grip an object. If you have Golfer’s elbow then the pain is experienced on the inner part of your elbow.

When you have Achilles tendonitis you have pain just above your heel.

The pain of adductor tendonitis is felt in your groin.

When you have patellar tendonitis the pain is just below your kneecap.

Rotator cuff tendonitis is when the pain is in the shoulder.

When you do an activity that uses the muscle that is attached to the injured tendon than the pain worsens.

Any tendon can rupture and that will require surgical repair. If a rupture does not occur ice and rest and anti-inflammatory medication is usually the recommended treatment.