The tendons in our body are thick cords that connect the muscles to the bones. Once these tendons are irritated or inflamed, it is a condition known as tendinitis. It causes acute pain accompanied by tenderness which makes it difficult to move the affected joint.
Tendinitis can be caused by an injury, aging, disease or repetitive movement. Take note that any tendon can get tendinitis but an individual is more prone to develop the disorder in the heel, shoulder, wrist and elbow.
Causes of tendinitis
The common cause of the condition is repetitive action in which the tendons are overused in performing a certain movement. In most cases, individuals develop tendinitis if they regularly perform the same movement while playing certain sports or at work. The risk is higher if the movement is not correctly performed.
Other causes of tendinitis include:
- Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes
Signs and symptoms of tendinitis
The pain is usually a dull ache that is centered on the affected joint or area. This pain will worsen once the affected area is moved. It will become tender and there is increased pain if touched. There is also tightness that makes it difficult to move the area.
If the individual develops the symptoms of tendinitis, the first aid measure is to instruct the individual to rest the affected part and apply ice. In case the condition does not improve after a few days of rest, it is best to consult your doctor.
How to treat tendinitis
The treatment for tendinitis focuses on minimizing the pain and swelling in the affected tendon. There are first aid measures that you can perform at home.
- Allow the individual to rest and elevated the affected area.
- Apply cold or heat.
- Administer over-the-counter medications for pain and inflammation.
- Wrap the affected area using a compression bandage until the swelling minimizes.
- Instruct the individual to perform stretching exercises to help build up strength.
For severe cases, your doctor can recommend the following:
- Administration of corticosteroid injections to minimize both pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy
- Use of supports such as splints, canes and braces
- Surgery that involves the removal of the inflamed tissue
As long as tendinitis is treated early, it can quickly resolve. In some cases, the condition tends to recur and eventually becoming a chronic problem. If recurring movements or overdoing an activity caused the condition, it is important to undergo certain changes in your lifestyle to minimize the risk of getting the tendinitis again.
Take note that further injury can occur such as a tendon rupture if the swelling is left untreated. If tendon rupture occurs, surgery is the solution as well as for individuals who do not respond well to other treatment options. The surgical procedure involves the removal of any inflammatory tissue and is performed as an outpatient procedure.