Tendonitis, also sometimes known as tendinitis, is a condition which refers to inflammation of your tendons. It can occur on your shoulders, wrists, elbows, hips, knees, and heels. While the condition is common, those suffering from it often have many questions. How do you know if you have tendonitis? Are there non-invasive treatments for it? Learning the answers to these questions is an important first step in managing tendonitis.
Signs of Tendonitis
The main symptom of tendonitis is a pain when moving the affected joint. The pain is typically a dull ache. Tendonitis can develop gradually, but it can also be sudden and severe. These instances of sudden onset tendonitis are often caused by calcium deposits. In addition, pain may be present at night as well.
Other symptoms include:
- Warmness and redness of the skin covering the tendon
Causes of Tendonitis
Although sudden injuries can cause tendonitis, you’re more likely to develop it due to activities that put constant stress on your tendons over time. People who have jobs that require repetitive motions, powerful exertion, vibration, and uncomfortable positions have a high risk of developing tendonitis.
Playing sports like baseball, golf, basketball, tennis, and bowling can lead to tendonitis. Using proper technique and form when engaging in these activities or sports can minimize risk. Before engaging in physical activity, it’s best to warm up with stretching or light movements to reduce the chance of any physical trauma due to repetitive motion.
Poor posture also puts you at risk of developing tendonitis. To improve your posture – and thereby reduce your risk of tendonitis – it’s best to use the proper equipment when exercising or working. For example, you can adjust the height of your chair or table to a position that puts less strain on your joints.
Other Medical Conditions
Conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, gout, and other blood or kidney ailments can weaken the muscles and cause tendonitis. Furthermore, tendons become less flexible as we age. For this reason, the elderly have a higher risk of developing tendonitis.
Treatments for Tendonitis
Symptoms of tendonitis can often be resolved through self-care techniques. You can do these treatments on your own to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. There are also over-the-counter pain relievers you can take to ease your discomfort.
Another powerful technique for easing tendonitis symptoms is the RICE method, which can reduce pain and inflammation as well as speed up recovery time. RICE stands for:
- Rest: Do not attempt to work or play through the pain you’re experiencing.
- Ice: Reduce pain and swelling by applying an ice compress on the affected area.
- Compression: Place wraps or bandages on the affected area to reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Raise the affected area above the level of your heart to reduce pain and swelling.
If your symptoms persist for more than a few days, it’s best to seek help from a healthcare professional. You should also see your doctor if the pain you feel interferes with your daily activities.
In these instances, doctors will typically have you undergo a physical exam to determine whether or not you have tendonitis. In some cases, you might have to undergo X-rays or other imaging tests to determine the cause. After examining you, your doctor might suggest one of the following treatments:
One treatment is a corticosteroid injection, where your doctor injects cortisone around a tendon to ease pain and reduce inflammation. This may be a good solution for isolated instances of tendonitis. However, corticosteroid injections are typically inadvisable if your tendonitis is chronic. Repeated injections can make your tendons weak and could even lead to rupture.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
In Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, your doctor will inject a solution into the affected area. Your doctor will extract some of your blood, then spin it in a centrifuge. After being spun, the blood sample will separate, producing platelet-rich plasma. The resulting solution has powerful regenerative properties, and can help accelerate the healing process when applied to the target area.
Physical therapy is a treatment that helps restore function and mobility. A specialist will help you develop an exercise program that stretches and strengthens your tendons. The specialist will also guide you through the proper forms, which can help adapt your tendons and prevent tendonitis from reoccurring.
If conservative, minimally-invasive treatments fail, you may want to consider surgery. Surgery can help repair a tendon that has torn away from a bone. It can also relieve inflammation around the tendon. Surgical techniques used often depend on the severity of your condition, and the location of the tendon.
Tendonitis Treatment in Miami Lakes and Plantation, FL
Proper treatment of tendonitis can lessen your risk of tendon rupture and surgery. It also prevents the development of other, more severe tendon conditions.
Here at the Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center, our staff has extensive experience providing proper diagnoses and treatments for a variety of orthopedic concerns. We make sure that we provide the highest quality of care to all our patients, so that they can return to the life they love quickly and comfortably.
We look forward to providing you with orthopedic care and helping you return to a pain-free lifestyle.