How Do You Know If you Have Tendonitis?
If you’re into sports, then you are familiar with Tennis elbow, Pitcher’s shoulder, and Jumper’s knee. These are just some of the common names for various tendinitis problems that occur mostly not just to athletes but also to people who have jobs or hobbies that involve repetitive motion, which puts stress on the tendons.
Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon which causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint. It can occur to any of your tendons, but it is most common around your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. Tendonitis can occur at any age but it becomes more apparent among adults who do a lot of sports. This is because the tendons slowly lose elasticity and become weaker with age.
What are the Symptoms of Tendonitis?
Tendons can be found all over our body as they connect our muscles to the bones such as our knees, elbows, and shoulders. There are signs and symptoms that you should look out for in order to know whether you have tendonitis. Some of these symptoms include:
- Pain that worsens every time you move.
- The uncomfortable feeling that the tendon is crackling or grating as it moves.
- A lump may develop in the tendon area.
- Redness and swelling along the tendon.
There are different types of tendonitis depending on which area of your body is affected. You may be more susceptible to develop tendonitis if you participate in certain sports that involve repetitive motion such as baseball, basketball, golf, bowling, swimming, and tennis. Improper technique and movements can overload the tendon which then leads to tendonitis. To have a more accurate diagnosis, you can ask your healthcare specialist about the different types of tendonitis.
How to Prevent Tendonitis?
Treatment and tendonitis prevention mostly involves managing the pain and inflammation of the area that was affected. There are home remedies you can try and medications you can take in order to minimize the pain and the swelling of your tendon. Here are the best ways you can treat and tendonitis prevention:
The RICE Treatment
The RICE treatment is a very common method to treat injuries. If you’ve hurt your ankle or had another type of strain, then it is possible that your doctor has recommended the RICE treatment. It basically stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
After you’ve hurt any part of your body, immediately stop your activity. Rest as much as possible and limit the movements where you have to move the area that was affected. Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours until the swelling disappears. After applying an ice pack, wrap the affected area with an elastic medical bandage. Don’t make it too tight that it will interrupt blood flow or too loose that it will easily untie itself. Raise the sore body part above the level of your heart. This will help reduce the pain and the throbbing of the affected area. While your affected tendon is still healing, avoid exercises and activities that can aggravate your injury. The RICE treatment will help alleviate the pain for many cases of tendonitis, however, if the pain worsens or doesn’t go away within the week, it is best if you consult your doctor for other treatments.
To help manage the pain, you can purchase over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. These medications can help decrease the swelling, however, they might not reduce the thickening of the tendon caused by chronic deterioration. Your doctor may also recommend corticosteroids. They may inject a corticosteroid medication around the tendon to relieve pain and discomfort associated with tendonitis. However, it is important to note, it is not recommended to inject corticosteroids if the tendonitis is long-lasting or those that are over three months as repeated injections may weaken the tendon and increase the risk for tendon rupture.
Surgical and Other Procedures
If physical therapy and other medications don’t work, you can resort to surgical procedures. Your doctor might suggest ultrasonic treatment for tendonitis prevention. It is a procedure that uses a small incision to insert a special device that will remove the tendon scar tissue with ultrasonic sound waves.
Dry needling is also an option. This procedure mostly involves poking small holes in the tendon with a fine needle in order to stimulate tendon healing. Surgical repair may also be done by a specialist if your tendon has already torn away from the bone.
If you enjoy exercising and playing sports, you need to take care of your tendons. Damaging it would limit your movements and thus, would limit your physical activities. Should you want your tendons checked, you can visit the Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute in New Jersey. We provide each patient with an individualized, multimodal pain management treatment plan with the goal of improving the quality of life of patients. Schedule a meeting to know more.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is not intended to be used in place of your professional medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.