Tendinitis: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Tendinitis
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

What is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis is a very serious medical condition that can cause a significant amount of pain to an individual. Tendinitis is considered to be an ‘overuse’ injury because of the fact that the condition develops as a direct result of excessive use of the joint in which it is located.

Tendinitis Signs and Symptoms

Understanding the symptoms and signs to keep an eye out for will go a long way in helping you diagnose the condition. The locations in which tendinitis is likely to occur include:

  • The base of the thumb
  • Elbows
  • Knee
  • Hip
  • Shoulder
  • Achilles tendon

The symptoms include significant pain around the affected area that will more likely buildup gradually over a period of time, but could also develop rather suddenly. The patient is also likely to experience a loss of motion in the shoulder when this part of the body affected. This occurrence is known as ‘frozen shoulder.’ The pain experienced with tendinitis is likely to be sharper and more keenly felt when trying to perform actions with the use of the affected joint.

When it is the Achilles tendon that is affected, the condition could result in a tendon tear or rupture. This is a very painful and serious condition where surgery might be required to help recuperation.

Tendinitis Diagnosis and Treatment

Understanding the symptoms mentioned previously makes diagnosis easier. A fast and accurate diagnosis will go a long way in ensuring* that the condition is treated correctly. The initial treatment will always be focused on doing everything possible to relieve the discomfort and pain that the patient is in. Resting the affected tendon is essential for its recuperation and a few days of putting it into a splint to provide additional support should help. Doctors will generally also administer anti-inflammatory medication in order to help reduce* the swelling. Steroid injections may also be administered to improve* the strength of the tendon before commencement of physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy is essential in order to develop the strength of the weakened tendon. Stretching exercises will improve* healing, but it is important to remember that the strength will return gradually and patience is important. Rushing through physiotherapy is likely to place more stress on the affected tendon and cause more discomfort or even damage.

Tendinitis Prevention and Prognosis

As mentioned previously, prevention against tendinitis is not very easy because of the fact that there are so many contributing factors – some of which you cannot do anything about. Performing stretching exercises on a daily basis will go a long way into strengthening the tendon, making tendinitis harder to develop. Overuse is one of the contributing factors. So ensure that you do not apply any excessive stress to the tendon. As soon as you feel any kind of pain, take a rest or call it a day.

Expert’s Opinion

The NIH and other medical experts state that although the condition is a very common one, it can cause significant duress to your regular schedule. Because of the fact that there are so many possible causes, it is hard to try and prevent yourself from the condition. All the following factors have an impact on the development of this condition:

  • Sports injuries
  • Regular injuries such as sprained ankles due to walking on uneven ground
  • Degenerative diseases such as arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Stress from conditions like gout. As a result, it is equally important to perform a number of tests to identify the underlying cause if there is any

Treating the underlying cause will prevent the symptoms from coming back once they have subsided, and will also turn the doctor’s attention to a more permanent solution to your problem. Some conditions may require more advanced methods of treatment such as:

  • Ultrasound
  • Surgery
  • Steroid injections

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Author

Expert Author : Kelly Everson (Consumer Health Digest)

Kelly Everson is an independent editor, an award-winning writer and an editorial consultant in the health and fitness industries. Currently, she is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Digest.