Have you ever wondered what is it that causes tendonitis and “do I have it?” Tendonitis (also called tendenitis) is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle.
Overuse injuries to tendons essentially demand too much from a tendon without allowing the tendon time to repair itself. Tendons, like most other tissues in the body, are nourished by blood flow. Certain areas of tendons have a poor blood supply, and, not surprisingly, these areas of the tendon are most prone to injury. That’s why the Achilles tendon and the rotator cuff tendons are prone to injury. These tendons have an area of poor blood supply.
When tendons are used excessively, the body needs to be able to repair these tendons. Because of the poor blood supply in some tendons, this may take too much time. When the tendons are used excessively, the amount of damage make overtake the body’s ability to repair itself. That’s when overuse tendonitis develops.
There are many activities that can cause tendinitis, including:
- Cleaning house
- Throwing and pitching
Tendons can also become inflamed after a traumatic injury. In this situation, a single event may cause an inflammatory reaction within a tendon. If the inflammation is significant, the tendon may remain inflamed, and the acute injury can turn into a chronic tendonitis.
As with overuse tendonitis, if a traumatic injury is not allowed time to repair the damage and inflammation, a chronic condition can result. That is why rest is an important part of the treatment of tendonitis.
Once the problem has been properly diagnosed as tendonitis, treatment of the condition can begin. It is not necessary to have this evaluated by your doctor prior to initiating a treatment plan with your physical therapist.
Who Gets Tendonitis?
Anyone can get tendonitis, but it is more common in adults, especially those over 40 years of age. As tendons age they tolerate less stress, are less elastic, and are easier to tear.
The tendonitis symptoms you experience may vary slightly depending on where in the body the inflammation has occurred.
Tendonitis commonly causes pain or a dull aching sensation around the affected tendon, especially when that part of the body is in use.
The area may also feel tender to the touch and may be swollen, depending on how serious the injury is.
Self Help Tips
It is always important to thoroughly stretch all of the muscles in the body to warm up before you engage in any type of physical activity.
Don’t forget to stretch after you’re done exercising, as well.
Avoid participating in only one type of activity — for example, if you lift weights one day, try going for a swim the next to take the pressure off of your joints.
It is vital you talk to a doctor if you believe there is just a chance you have tendonitis, the sooner you diagnose the problem, the quicker you can heal it.
NEXT STEP – SOLUTIONS:
Physical therapy often is the best choice for tendonitis. It addresses and treats the root cause rather than just the symptoms. Many patients get significant relief in their first visit and are done within 6 sessions. And the results are pretty long-lasting. The cost can vary but is typically around $40-$90 per session based on the complexity of your condition. Most who get therapy say they love it. Mention this article and get a consult or screening for only $49.
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