Tendonitis/Tendinitis - tennis elbow - golfer's elbow - pitcher's shoulder - swimmer's shoulder - jumper's knee.
Tendonitis is a
inflammation of a
tendon (tendonitis) and the lining
If tendonitis is severe and leads to the rupture of a tendon, you may need surgical repair. This is especially true if the rupture is in the Achilles tendon, the tendon just above the heel. But many times, rest and medications to reduce pain and inflammation may be the only treatments you need. You can also take simple preventive measures to reduce your chance of developing tendonitis or to keep it from affecting your normal range of motion in joints such as your shoulder.
Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a common cause of elbow pain.
Signs and symptoms
Tendonitis produces the following symptoms near a joint that is aggravated by movement:
Tendonitis in various locations in your body produces these specific types of pain:
If the sheath of tissue that surrounds the tendon becomes scarred and narrowed, it may cause the tendon to lock in one position, such as in the condition called trigger finger. The pain of tendonitis is usually worse with activities that use the muscle that is attached to the involved tendon.
Tendons are usually surrounded by a sheath of tissue similar to the lining of the joints (synovium). They're subject to the wear and tear of aging, direct injury and inflammatory diseases. The most common cause of tendonitis is injury or overuse during work or play. Occasionally, an infection within the tendon sheath is responsible for the inflammation.
The pain is usually the result of a small tear in or inflammation of the tendon that links your muscles to your bone. Tendonitis can also be associated with inflammatory diseases that occur throughout your body, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
You have a greater risk of developing tendonitis if you perform excessive repetitive motions of your arms or legs. For instance, professional baseball players, swimmers, tennis players and golfers are susceptible to tendonitis in their shoulders, arms and elbows. Soccer and basketball players, runners and dancers are more prone to tendon inflammation in their legs and feet. Improper technique in any sport is one of the primary causes of overload on tissues including tendons, which can contribute to tendonitis. But you don't have to be a professional athlete to develop this condition. The incidence of tendonitis increases with age as muscles and tendons lose their elasticity.
When to seek medical advice
Most cases of tendonitis don't require a doctor's care. But if you experience pain that interferes with your normal day-to-day activities or have soreness that doesn't improve within two weeks despite self-care measures, see your doctor. He or she may be able to help you find ways to reduce your discomfort. Your doctor may also want to conduct tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing the problem.
See your doctor if you have a fever and the area affected by tendinitis appears red or inflamed (swollen, warm). These signs and symptoms may indicate you have an infection.
Screening and diagnosis
Your doctor may suspect you have tendonitis after observing the signs and symptoms of the condition or discussing them with you. But to make a diagnosis of tendonitis, your doctor will most likely want to review your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination. An X-ray often isn't helpful in diagnosing tendonitis because tendons generally aren't visible in these images. Still, your doctor may order an X-ray if he or she wants to rule out a more serious condition involving the bone. Although rarely necessary, a special imaging test known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might be ordered to reveal any weakening or tearing of the tendon or changes in the tendon sheath or covering. Your doctor may also recommend blood tests if he or she suspects that a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis may be an underlying cause of your tendonitis.