A tendon is a ‘cord-like’ structure that attaches the bone to the muscle and transmits our functioning range of motion. Tendinitis, also called tendonitis, is caused by the irritation or inflammation of the tendon. It’s most often caused by repetitive blows to the affected area or from a more serious injury and is most often seen in places like the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. The initial pain of tendinitis can be severe and occur suddenly and unexpectedly, which is why it’s important to understand the causes and how you can effectively take preventative measures.
Types of Tendinitis
We have tendons all throughout our bodies, and while many parts of the body can be affected, some tendons are much more prone to inflammation than others. Additionally, as we mature, tendons start to lose elasticity and strength, making them more prone to wear and tear. The body then tries to compensate for imbalance by putting strain on your tendons.
The most common types of tendinitis include:
- Shoulder: In the shoulder, tendinitis most often affects the rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons that keep the bone in your upper arm connected to the shoulder socket. Generally, males who are over the age of 40 and do a lot of physical activity are more prone. Occupations such as carpenters, welders, painters, and athletes are at higher risk.
- Tennis Elbow: Tennis elbow is a type of tendinitis that causes pain on the outside of the elbow joint. Almost 50% of adults who play tennis or sports like racquetball and squash will get it at some point. Any activities that make you repeatedly flex your wrist can cause the condition.
- Jumper’s Knee: Jumper’s knee is a tendon injury most commonly seen in athletes like basketball players and distance runners. The condition inflames either the tendon of the kneecap or the quadriceps tendon at the upper edge.
- Wrist: The most common type of wrist tendinitis is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. It causes pain at the base of the thumb and most often happens in people who grasp and pinch often.
Common Causes of Tendinitis
Tendinitis can be caused by days, months, or even years of overuse. It can be caused by conditions or abnormalities in the body, such as diabetes, auto-immune diseases, gout, and thyroid conditions. Those with arthritis and scoliosis are also at higher risk of tendinitis due to the weakness and imbalance in their joints.
You can prevent an inflamed tendon by stretching and warming up before working out or performing other physical activities. Making sure you have the right technique, shoes, and equipment can all reduce chances of tendinitis, as well as other common health conditions. Good posture for walking, sitting, standing, lifting, or any activity for that matter, can dramatically help as well.
Our team at ProFysio is experienced and knowledgeable in living with and managing pain. To book an appointment, call us at (732) 812-5200 today!