Tendinitis


Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon — any one of the thick fibrous cords that attaches muscle to bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint.

While tendinitis can occur in any of your body's tendons, it's most common around your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels.

Some common names for various tendinitis problems are:

  • Tennis elbow

  • Golfer's elbow

  • Pitcher's shoulder

  • Swimmer's shoulder

  • Jumper's knee

If tendinitis is severe and leads to the rupture of a tendon, you may need surgical repair. But most cases of tendinitis can be successfully treated with rest, physical therapy and medications to reduce pain.

Symptoms


Signs and symptoms of tendinitis tend to occur at the point where a tendon attaches to a bone and typically include:

  • Pain often described as a dull ache, especially when moving the affected limb or joint

  • Tenderness

  • Mild swelling

Risk factors

Risk factors for developing tendinitis include age, working in particular jobs or participating in certain sports.

Age

As people get older, their tendons become less flexible — which makes them easier to injure.

Occupations

Tendinitis is more common in people whose jobs involve:

Therapy

You might benefit from a program of specific exercise designed to stretch and strengthen the affected muscle-tendon unit. For instance, eccentric strengthening — which emphasizes contraction of a muscle while it's lengthening — has been shown to be effective in treating chronic tendon inflammation

  • Physical Therapy. A physical therapist can address pain, walking, mobility, bracing and equipment needs that help you stay independent. Practicing low-impact exercises may help maintain your cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and range of motion for as long as possible.

    A physical therapist can also help you adjust to a brace, walker or wheelchair and may suggest devices such as ramps that make it easier for you to get around.

    Regular exercise can also help improve your sense of well-being. Appropriate stretching can help prevent pain and help your muscles function at their best.

  • Occupational Therapy. An occupational therapist can help you find ways to remain independent. Adaptive equipment can help you perform daily activities such as dressing, grooming, eating and bathing.

    An occupational therapist can also help you modify your home to allow accessibility if you have trouble walking safely.

    Occupational therapists also have a good understanding of how assistive technology and computers can be used, even if your hands are weak.

An occupational therapist can also help you modify your home to allow accessibility if you have trouble walking safely.


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