Tendonitis is a term describing pain and inflammation from injury to a tendon in the body. Tendons are the soft tissues at the end of muscles that attach to the bone. Without tendons, any range of motion would be impossible, as they allow the muscles to bend and flex.
Although these are highly flexible and tough pieces of tissue, the high amount of stress we place on them every day makes injury very common. This is particularly true of athletes and people with a high level of activity. Tendonitis can also become more common with age, as our bodies lose elasticity.
The good news is that with proper treatment and activity adjustments, tendonitis can heal. In contrast, ignoring a case of tendonitis can result in the injury worsening or the development of a separate or more serious injury, such as a tear.
By learning about the different types of tendonitis and the best way to find relief, you can take a proactive role in your care, whether you have been diagnosed with tendonitis or are seeking out potential sources of your pain. We’re here to help and encourage you to reach out to our team to learn more as you look over the following information.
Common Types of Tendonitis
Tendonitis can develop nearly anywhere in the body, since we have muscles and tendons from head to toe. However, the most common forms of this injury occur in locations where we put the most strain on them, particularly joints. These types include:
- Achilles tendonitis — A common form of tendonitis, this develops in the ankle, at the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel.
- Tennis elbow — Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is actually a form tendonitis of the forearm muscle that connects to the elbow.
- Shoulder tendonitis — One of the more common locations for bursitis and tendonitis, in cases of supraspinatus tendinitis, the tendon near the top of the shoulder becomes inflamed.
- Wrist tendonitis — The wrist tendons can become easily inflamed due to repetitive activities and sports.
- Hand and finger tendonitis — There are many tendons that link the small muscles in the hands to bones in the fingers and palms that often become inflamed.
How Doctors Diagnose Tendonitis
Doctors speaking to patients dealing with limited range of motion and pain in the joints, can ask questions about symptoms and perform a physical evaluation and hands-on palpations to determine if the underlying cause of pain is a form tendonitis. Diagnostic imagery is occasionally used when conservative treatment fails to provide relief.
If tendonitis is found to be the underlying cause of symptoms, you and your doctor can work together to develop a plan of treatment. In general, the recommendation for tendonitis can include physical therapy, gentle stretching, ice, heat, contrast treatment, medications to help decrease inflammation and even injections.
Most Cases of Tendonitis Require Only Basic Treatment Measures
Patients with tendonitis should rest and elevate the affected area, apply alternating hot and cold compression, and use over-the-counter pain relievers as needed. These steps help to reduce symptoms while promoting the natural healing process. In many cases, and by following treatment guidelines, patients with tendonitis can find improvement within a period of days or weeks.
Physical Therapy Can Promote Improved Range of Motion and Stability
Physical therapy can be an extremely effective form of treatment for patients with tendonitis. A trained physical therapist can help in the instruction of exercises designed to improve range of motion and increase flexibility. Strengthening exercises can also help improve stability and relieve muscle imbalances that contribute to tendonitis.
Additionally, a physical therapist can perform hands-on manual therapies for tendonitis sufferers that can help mobilize soft tissue, improve blood flow to the affected area and break up damaged tissue areas.
Finally, physical therapy can involve biomechanical training designed to address mechanical and postural issues that add to the stress on our tendons, this can help with both healing and prevention of future reinjury.
Steroid Injections Can Reduce Inflammation And Pain In The Affected Area
Another effective treatment option for tendonitis is a therapeutic steroid injection that can help reduce inflammation on an intermediate basis. By injecting a corticosteroid into the affected area, patients can find significant symptom relief.
Steroid injections are very often combined with lifestyle changes and physical therapy programs to form a comprehensive treatment program designed to promote the healing process.
Other Treatment Options for Tendonitis
Surgery for tendonitis is very rare, but may become necessary for the removal of calcium deposits that can form in some cases. Additionally, over a longer period of time, recurrent tendonitis can lead to an increased risk of tearing or rupturing. In these cases, a surgeon may recommend a procedure to remove heavily damaged tissue to clear out damaged tissue to potentially reduce reinjury.
Get in Touch with OJRCA Today to Learn About Tendonitis Treatment Options
At Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America, our highly skilled and experienced treatment team helps people living with pain find relief. At our state-of-the-art facilities, we perform orthopedic surgery and steroid injections designed to restore function and relieve pain so you can get back to the active lifestyle you deserve.
If you’re dealing with tendonitis that has not responded to basic treatments and want to learn more about your therapeutic options, contact one of our representatives online today or call us at (813) 492-4412.