Recognizing the Signs of Tendonitis and How to Treat it

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tendonitis causes more than 70,000 people to miss work per year. This is just one of many reasons why it is important to understand the symptoms of tendonitis so that you can avoid not only the pain but the inconvenience it puts on your daily life.

What is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is the swelling and irritation of a tendon. A tendon is the dense fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. You have tendons all over your body, but the tendons that are especially prone to tendonitis are the wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles. There are various names for tendonitis including:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Pitcher’s shoulder
  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Jumper’s knee

Signs of Tendonitis

  • A dull aching pain that is especially apparent when moving the affected limb or joint
  • Tenderness
  • Mild swelling
  • Lack of mobility in the affected area

What Causes Tendonitis? In most cases, tendonitis is caused by repetitive motions, a minor impact on an affected area or from a sudden injury. People typically develop tendonitis from the repetitive motions that their jobs or hobby require.

How is Tendonitis Treated? Initially, these are the best things to do when you think that you have tendonitis:

  • Avoid activities that aggravate the tendon
  • Resting the injured area
  • Icing the area the day of your injury
  • Taking NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and discomfort

If your tendonitis is not getting any better within a week, seeing an orthopedic specialist will allow for a more effective treatment plan. Some things they might suggest are:

  • Corticosteroid injections These work best to quickly decrease the inflammation caused by tendonitis which will, in turn, reduce your pain
  • Physical Therapy The range-of-motion exercises that a Physical Therapist implements into your treatment plan are beneficial to regain full movement.
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma Tendonitis can take a long time to heal on its own. PRP injections can be used in areas of chronic tendon irritation to stimulate the healing process and decrease pain.

How to Prevent Tendonitis. There are a few lifestyle choices that you can implement to reduce your chances of developing tendonitis. Easing up on activities that put a lot of stress on your tendons, mixing up your exercises if they cause you pain and improving your technique when exercising can all be beneficial. Making sure to stretch before any exercise can improve the range of motion in your joints which minimizes any tight tissue trauma.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Tendonitis, the providers at Northern Arizona Orthopaedics are here to help. Schedule your consultation today by calling 928.226.2900 or book your appointment online here.