Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons, which are soft tissues that connect muscles to bones. They are responsible for the movement of the body parts as they create a pulling force and help hold the skeletal frame strong. It mostly affects the tendons near the knees, ankles, wrists, elbows and other prominent tendons of the body.
Types of Tendonitis
The prominent types of tendonitis are as follows:
- Patellar Tendonitis: It is the condition affecting the tendon that connects the shin bone (tibia) to the kneecap. It can occur due to wear from excessive walking, running, jumping, etc.
- Achilles Tendonitis: It affects the tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. It can be caused due to lifting heavy weights, wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or even rheumatoid arthritis.
- Epicondylitis: Commonly known as ‘Tennis elbow’, it is the inflammation of the tendon on either side of the elbow. Tennis and golf players are most affected by it.
- Supraspinatus tendonitis: The tendon that connects the shoulder bone to the muscles around it gets inflamed. It can restrict the movement of the shoulder.
Tendonitis can also be seen around other parts of the body such as the thumb, wrist, fingers, hip, neck, thigh, etc.
Causes and symptoms of Tendonitis
Tendonitis is usually caused due to excessive wear of the tendon, which leads to its irritation and inflammation. Other causes of the disorder may include external trauma such as an accident or a fall, sports injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
The affected tendon becomes weak and tender. The area around it becomes irritated, swollen, stiff and would exhibit an elevation in temperature. In case of a torn tendon, the movement of the particular body part becomes extremely difficult and painful.
How can Tendonitis be treated?
Much like any soft tissue injury, the first thing that the patient must do is avoid the movement of the joint and stay in a relaxed position. Physical activities such as working out, athletics or lifting weights should be avoided. Over the counter medications may be recommended by your doctor to reduce the pain and swelling.
Physical therapy can be very beneficial as it helps to alleviate the pain and also strengthens the muscles and soft tissues around the affected tendon. Nowadays, chiropractic treatment is considered to be the first line of treatment against tendonitis as it provides almost instant relief from the pain and reduces the ill effects of the condition.
In case the medication and the physical therapy don’t help with the condition, a mildly invasive surgery may be required. The doctor would remove any permanently damaged tissue and surgically mend the tears in the tendon.