Tendonitis refers to the inflammation, swelling, and irritation of a tendon. A tendon is the fibrous structure that joins muscle to bone. Tendonitis can present itself in any tendon and often occurs as the tendon loses its elasticity, which typically results from:
It more commonly occurs from anything that involves repetitive motions of the same joint. Whether you’re pitching and playing tennis or painting and gardening, a number of activities require repetitive motions, meaning that you should take breaks in any such activity. Factors such as incorrect posture or poor conditioning before exercise or sports can increase risk, but our physical therapists are able to help you by ensuring you know exactly what exercises and stretches can prevent conditions like tendonitis.
Tendonitis can also be found in connection with systemic diseases, such as arthritis or diabetes.
The doctors at Trinity Spine and Orthopedics tend to prefer a conservative approach to healing. With tendonitis, the goal is generally to reduce pain and inflammation. This can be accomplished with several measures, including:
Rest: Avoiding use of the problem joint will allow it to recover. This could also involve immobilizing the joint with a splint or brace.
Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as Aleve or Ibuprofen, help to reduce the pain and swelling that you might feel in the joint. Steroid injections can also be useful with managing the pain and allowing an earlier start with physical therapy.
Physical Therapy: Our physical therapists can show you exercises and work with you to strengthen your muscle and tendon. This will help to improve healing, restore functionality, and prevent future injury.
Surgery: In certain cases, surgery may be performed to remove some of the inflamed tissue. However, this is quite rare and generally used only in severe cases.