Tendons are the flexible, thick, and fibrous cords of tissue that connect a muscle to a bone. If a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated, tendinitis can occur and lead to significant pain and tenderness around the affected area. Though it can affect any tendon, tendinitis is most prevalent in the wrists, elbows, heels, knees, and shoulders. When not cared for properly, it can lead to the rupture of the tendon, which can cause degenerative changes in the tendon and the growth of abnormal blood vessels. If you are experiencing symptoms that you believe are due to tendinitis, it is important to seek medical attention in order to receive a proper diagnosis before the condition progresses.
Symptoms typically develop in the area where the tendon connects to the bone. The most common symptoms include:
- Inflammation, tenderness, and swelling
- Pain with movement of the limb tenderness
CAUSES OF TENDINITIS
While it is possible for tendinitis to be the result of an injury or trauma, it is typically caused by repetitive movement over time. There are several risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop tendinitis, such as their age and occupation. As a person gets older, their tendons lose flexibility, increasing the risk of injury. Individuals whose jobs require strenuous lifting and repetitive motions can also be more susceptible to developing tendinitis. Additionally, tendinitis is common in individuals who regularly play sports or are professional athletes.
Tendinitis is typically diagnosed with a simple physical exam and an evaluation of an individual’s medical history, but an x-ray may be taken in order to rule out any other possible causes for your pain and discomfort. When treating tendinitis, the main goal is to alleviate pain and inflammation. In order to do so, anti-inflammatory medications may be initially prescribed, as well as physical therapy. If symptoms do not improve with medication or therapy, injections may be suggested. Another treatment option is dry needling, a method similar to acupuncture. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Following a comprehensive exam and assessment, we will develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs so that you can return to the activities you enjoy! Treatments for arthritis within the shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, and knees may vary.