Common Causes and Locations of Tendonitis
Tendonitis refers to an inflamed or irritated tendon. The tendons are the fibrous connective tissues that attach muscle to the bone. Tendons can also attach muscles to structures like the eyeballs. When the tendon is not functioning normally, the result is a tendon disorder like tendonitis. The condition is often caused by repetitive impact on a part of your body. When you perform certain activities like gardening, raking, paining, tennis, and golf repetitively, it can lead to an unhealthy level of impact on the tendon. Tendonitis can also happen when the body experiences the following:
- A joint that is abnormally placed, stressing soft tissue structures
- Stress from other existing conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders, or unusual medication reactions
- Overuse of a specific movement the body is not accustomed to
- An infection
The tendons go from the head and neck all the way down to the feet, and tendonitis can occur in any area of the body where a tendon is connecting a bone to a muscle. The most common areas to experience tendonitis are:
- Base of the thumb
- Achilles tendon
You might hear tendonitis being called a variety of names, and even being spelled a variety of ways. It can be spelled both tendonitis and tendinitis, and it might also be referred to as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, pitcher’s shoulder, swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee, and Achilles tendonitis, depending on the location of the injury. If you have tendonitis in any of these areas, you will likely experience pain at the site of your tendon and the surrounding area. This pain is often described as a dull ache, and sufferers also experience tenderness, swelling, and weakness. If you feel like you have tendon pain all over your body, this could be because you are suffering from tendonitis in multiple areas.
Physical Therapy for Tendonitis
Fortunately, if you are suffering from tendonitis, even if it is located in multiple areas, the condition can usually be treated with physical therapy. One of the most common treatments for tendonitis is the “RICE” method, which stands for:
- Rest – This step is especially important because without it, you can increase the risk of tendon rupture, which is a serious condition that might require surgery. The rest period will look different for each condition. In most cases, tendonitis heals in two to four weeks, but chronic tendinitis can take more than six. With chronic cases, the patient might experience restriction of motion of the joint because of scarring or narrowing of the tissue surrounding the tendon.
- Ice – Ice treatments are also called cryotherapy, and it can be a great way to treat pain and inflammation. Ice treatments work by constricting or narrowing blood vessels. Around twenty minutes of icing tends to be the most effective, but this will vary from patient to patient.
- Compression – Compression helps tendonitis because it increases blood flow and increases oxygen and nutrient levels. Other benefits of compression include reducing muscle vibration, which can affect the tendons. The best way to do a compression treatment is typically to apply ice packs and compress the area with an elastic bandage.
- Elevation – The major benefits of elevation include reducing swelling and preserving mobility, which is great for patients who have knee-based tendonitis.
No matter what might be causing the tendon pain in your body, the physical therapists at ProFysio Physical Therapy can help. Call us at (732) 812-5200 or contact us online to learn how.