Tendonitis (also called tendinitis) is a chronic inflammation of the tendons, which connect muscles to bones. When a tendon is stretched, torn, or separated from the bone, surgery may be needed to repair the damage and reduce pain. However, for many people, tendonitis isn’t the result of one event, but a cumulative effect from a lifetime of small strains.
At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our expert physicians provide care for tendonitis using sports medicine to alleviate pain and restore range of motion.
Causes of tendonitis
Though some people assume tendonitis is a condition from which athletes primarily suffer, it can strike anyone who repeatedly does the same thing over and over. This includes:
- House workers who scrub, sweep, mop, and wash windows
- Gardeners who rake, shovel, hoe, and plant
- Carpenters who saw, hammer, sand, and paint
- Athletes who ski, golf, play tennis, or pitch baseball
These are only a few causes of tendonitis. You can also get tendonitis pain from:
- Suffering an injury to the hand or wrist, like an animal bite that gets infected
- Having thyroid disorders, suffering any form of arthritis, or taking certain medications
- Damage to a joint or bone (making one leg longer than the other, for example)
In short, any kind of strain where tendon meets muscle or tendon meets bone (typically, the latter) can cause tendonitis.
Warning signs of tendonitis
Signs of tendonitis are few and can easily be mistaken for another type of condition or an acute injury. If you notice chronic symptoms that last a long time or come back over and over in the same location, you might want to have your doctor check for tendonitis. Symptoms include:
- A dull aching pain that worsens when you move the affected limb or joint
- Tenderness close to the bone where a tendon attaches
- Mild muscle swelling around the bone/tendon connection
Treatment for tendonitis
Treating tendonitis starts with the most conservative options: resting the affected limb or joint, icing and elevating it to relieve pain, taking over-the-counter painkillers, and avoiding doing whatever caused the strain in the first place.
If your tendonitis won’t go away or gets worse, your doctor may recommend some of the following therapies:
- Corticoid injections to help reduce inflammation and give the area time to heal
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the tendon and prevent future injury
- Surgery as a last resort if it’s suspected the tendon is badly stretched or torn
Tired of tendonitis? You can learn more about treatment options by talking to the team at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine. Get in touch by calling 201-273-9702 or requesting an appointment online.