Tendonitis, often called tendinitis, relates to tendon injuries. Doctors typically add another word that indicates the precise location of the damaged tendon. Therefore something like Achilles tendonitis means the Achilles has tendonitis. All age groups get tendon injuries but the causes vary. Sporting activities lead to many cases of tendonitis in younger people, while the aging process weakens tendons. This makes elderly people more susceptible to tendon damage. Most commonly, a succession of minor injuries to the tendon causes tendonitis rather than a single major injury.
Pain is a normal indication of tendonitis. However, sometimes an inspection of the area of the damaged tendon reveals additional signs of injury. Such a sign could appear in the form of a swelling or redness around the affected joint. These physical indications obviously vary with the location of the injury. For example, if the problem occurs in the Achilles tendon, the back of the heel might swell. If if the wrist is affected, it might become swollen. Although these visible indicators often appear, it is not an invariable rule. While swelling is a well-known tendonitis symptom, its absence doesn't mean the tendon is undamaged.
Tendonitis frequently causes the shoulder, heel, elbow or other damaged joints to become very stiff. Patients also report that the stiffness tends to be worse in the morning. This can get to a point where movement of the joint becomes very restricted. It might even become impossible to move in the most severe cases of this complaint. In addition to this stiffness, sometimes the person feels heat in this area.
Variation in pain levels is a symptom that various tendon injuries seem to share. At the most basic level, pain varies in line with the severity of the damage, but other factors are also involved. How the limb is moved helps determine the degree of pain. With tendonitis of the shoulder, for example, people feel consistent mild pain. However, when they raise their arm, the pain significantly increases. They also find that their shoulder becomes painful during the night because they put pressure on it during sleep. Bending the elbow or whatever other limb is affected also hurts a great deal.
As well as varying in intensity in the same spot on the body, the pains caused by tendonitis may also travel around the body. Someone who feels pain in their shoulder may find that these pains rise into their neck. Alternatively, they may go down along the arm. In some cases, both might happen. Understandably, some become worried when this happens, but with this minor complaint, they have little reason to be too concerned.
One variety of this complaint is called patellar tendonitis. This term describes an injury of the tendons that connect the kneecap with the shin bone. As you might expect, pain in the knee is one of its main symptoms, but it also causes swelling and redness in this area. Some also experience a warm sensation. In popular language, patellar tendonitis is often called "jumper's knee." Since excessive jumping around in sports activities is one of the main causes, the name is appropriate. Those who play basketball and volleyball need to be especially on their guard against this form of tendonitis.
Tendonitis often develops some hours or days after someone has exposed a particular limb to overuse. There are numerous examples of these kinds of repetitive actions that can so easily overstretch tendons with very painful consequences. Typical cases include driving for a long distance with your hand holding the steering wheel very tightly. Alternatively, going on a very long run without proper running footwear and good training might cause it. Even sitting for many hours in an awkward position typing away at a keyboard can increase the risk of tendonitis.
Sometimes tendonitis is linked to another more serious medical condition. Those who have rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory sicknesses are more likely to get tendonitis. Those who have flat feet, or other foot abnormalities, also have more stress on the tendons in their feet. This stress can pave the way for tendonitis.
Although it is uncommon to discover a case of tendonitis that develops as a side effect of medications, it's not unknown for this to happen. For instance, on rare occasions, those taking statins to reduce cholesterol or taking certain antibiotics develop tendonitis. If this happens, the patient must contact a medical professional. In some cases, a change of drugs might be appropriate, whereas, in others, it may be an unrelated condition.
It's easy to become confused between tendonitis and the very similar sounding tendonosis. The fact that they share the pain and swelling symptoms also make it easy to mix them up. The key difference to bear in mind is that while both tendonitis and tendonosis are inflammations, the latter is a disease and needs to be treated differently.
In the majority of cases, all that those who have tendonitis need to do for a cure is to ensure that the inflamed limb gets sufficient rest. They might need to take painkillers at first, but usually, drugs sold over the counter in the pharmacy are enough to bring relief; there's no need to go to the doctor. In a few weeks at most the inflammation goes down and tendonitis symptoms disappear. In rare situations where the pain is especially severe, or pains and swelling continue for a much longer period, a visit to the doctor becomes a must.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.