Tendinitis (Tendon Inflammation)
Tendons are thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. When tendons get inflamed, this is known as tendinitis.
Tendinitis happens when a person overuses or injures their tendon and can occur at different parts of the body. This causes acute pain and tenderness, making it difficult to move the affected joint. Some common tendonitis problems are Achilles Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow and Trigger Finger.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms of tendonitis include:
- A dull ache concentrated around the affected area or joint
- Area is tender to the touch
- Pain which worsens on touch
- Difficulty in moving the area
- Mild swelling, heat, and redness
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
Tendinitis is most commonly due to repetitive motion over time, especially while playing sports or while working. Performing a motion incorrectly is also another common cause of tendinitis. Other risk factors include:
- Aging- tendons become less flexible over time
- Having certain medical conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- Occupation- certain jobs with repetitive and awkward motions increase the risk of tendinitis such as construction work and painting
- Sports- certain sports with repetitive motions increase the risk of tendinitis such as golf, swimming, basketball and tennis
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS?
A history of the injury and a physical examination of the concerned area will be conducted by the Doctor. Your doctor will focus on the area of tenderness and range of motion.
Imaging tests will be taken, such as an x-ray, a MRI and a CT scan if more information is required. An x-ray can reveal the calcium deposits around the concerned tendon, while a MRI and CT scan can show more details about the tendon. These will help the doctor make a more conclusive diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
The aim of treatment for tendinitis is to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the tendon. Treatment options include:
- Resting and/or elevating the tendon, according to your doctor’s advice
- Application of hot or cold compress
- Medications, pain relievers such as ibuprofen and anti-inflammatory drugs
- Splinting of the affected joint
WHAT ARE THE PREVENTION MEASURES?
Reduce your chances of getting tendinitis with these steps:
- Warm up before any exercise
- Avoid overuse and repetitive motions
- Always maintain good posture
- Try not to stay in the same position for long periods of time
- Maintain your physical fitness
- Use proper work and sporting equipment