Tendon inflammation, or tendinitis, can develop in any of the thick, fibrous cords that attach your muscles to your bones. Although this common overuse or repetitive-stress injury can be quite painful and tender, it often heals quickly with the right approach. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports-medicine specialist Kraig Pepper, DO, PA provides A-to-Z care for men and women with tendinitis. To find out more, call his office in Fort Worth, Texas or schedule an appointment online today.
Tendons are flexible bands of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. Besides giving you a way to move your body, they also provide a controlled range of motion around each of your joints. When repetitive stress or overuse affects one of your tendons, it can become painfully inflamed, swollen, and tender to the touch.
While “tendinitis” is the formal medical term for inflamed tendons, the condition is often referred to by its many informal names, including tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, pitcher’s shoulder, and jumper’s knee.
Most adults who develop tendinitis take part in some type of activity that involves the kind of repetitive movements that place stress directly on their tendons. Although it’s possible to protect against tendinitis by using proper form and technique when you perform repeated motions, certain factors will still increase your risk of developing the condition.
You’re more likely to develop tendinitis if your job requires you to perform tasks with repetitive movement patterns, frequent overhead reaching, or forceful exertion. If you’re involved in sports that involve repetitive movement patterns, like running, swimming, tennis, golf, or baseball, you also have a higher risk of developing the condition.
You’re more prone to tendinitis as you get older, simply because your tendons become less flexible – and more prone to injury – with age.
Because tendons become weaker with age, an overuse injury like tendonitis can further weaken them, causing tissue degeneration and increasing your chances of suffering a more severe injury in the future, such as a tear or rupture.
Self-care measures, including rest and cold therapy, can go a long way in reducing inflammation and helping the affected tendon heal quickly. You’ll want to stay off your feet or rest your arm/shoulder as much as possible for several days, and apply ice to the area at least three or four times a day. Compression, elevation, and anti-inflammatory medications are other good self-care strategies.
Long-term care typically includes targeted physical therapy, tendon-specific stretches, and low-impact cross-training activities. If the condition affects your heel (Achilles tendinitis), custom-made orthotic devices can help provide optimal foot support.
Tendinitis doesn’t usually require surgical repair unless the tendon has torn or ruptured.
If tendon pain is making it hard to stay active, call Dr. Pepper’s office today, or book your appointment online at any time.