Tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon, a tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. There are a lot of tendons in a human body, and different types of tendonitis are named in accordance with the parts of the body affected by the disease. Thus, inflammation of Achilles tendon is called Achilles tendonitis, and patellar tendonitis, also called jumper’s knee, means inflammation of patellar tendon. Among other tendons tent do be inflamed are wrist tendon and elbow tendon (the disease is also called tennis elbow). The most spread types of this disease are those involving limbs, while hips and torso are less common.
Causes of tendonitis
Normally tendons glide smoothie when muscles contracts. But due to different reasons tendons may be inflamed, that prevents muscles from ordinary functioning. Among the most spread reasons of inflammation are overuse and overstrain, that’s why tendonitis is a common sportsmen’s disease. Swimmers may experience shoulders tendon inflammation, basketball, football and volleyball players – patellar tendon injury.
It is a common disease of 40-60 year old persons, as their tendons are not so elastic and may be easily irritated.
Symptoms of the disease
Below is the list of symptoms experienced by the patients:
- Pain and tenderness of the area around the inflamed tendons, especially while moving of the corresponding part of the body;
- Swelling, sometimes accompanied by redness or knots around the joint.
The symptoms usually become worse after activity. Some stressful conditions may also provoke pain increase.
Tendonitis may be diagnosed with simple physical exam, notably palpation, and medical history. However, X-Ray may reveal any complications or accompanied diseases.
Treating tendonitis involves complex measures, including taking medicines and keeping special regime. Prescribed drugs may include NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), it reduce both pain and inflammation. There is a wide range of NSAIDs that may be prescribed, for example, ibuprofen, celecoxib, naproxen and others.
As for regime – rest is strictly recommended and no activity is allowed during the treatment, especially for sportsmen. Rest prevents further aggravation of the disease, otherwise all medicines would be taken in vain and symptoms would relapse. Orthotics or braces, such as elbow bands, braces for ankles, splints for hands are used sometimes to protect tendons and prevent it from moving.
Physical or manual therapy, including massage, may be used as a supplement. Another important part of the treatment is applying ice packs to the inflamed area. Such compresses reduce inflammation and swelling.
In some cases, when symptoms are persistent, injection of cortisone may be used. This injection is a must when proper rest cannot be provided.
Note, that each type of tendon inflammation requires different treatment, that’s why you should consult your doctor before taking any medicines.
Tendonitis is likely to be recurrent, if the overuse is not reduced. To prevent the relapse, you should keep protect the tendons with straps, splints or bandages while activity and shouldn not overstrain joints, take breaks if activity involves overuse of the tendon for a long time.
These measures may help prevent not only tendonitis, but other joint and tendon injuries as well.
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