ISOMATIC Integrative Health Centre

Scarborough

Tendinitis

Tendinitis: Understanding Causes, Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Overview: Tendinitis, a common musculoskeletal condition, is characterized by inflammation or irritation of a tendon, the fibrous structure connecting muscles to bones. It often results from repetitive motion, overuse, or age-related changes. Understanding the causes, types, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial for effective management.

Causes:

  1. Overuse or Repetitive Movements: Continuous stress on a specific tendon from repetitive activities or overuse.
  2. Age: Tendons lose elasticity with age, making older individuals more prone to tendinitis.
  3. Sports and Physical Activities: Athletes engaging in sports with repetitive motions or sudden impact are at risk.
  4. Poor Conditioning: Inadequate conditioning before physical activities can strain tendons.
  5. Medical Conditions: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes may increase susceptibility.

Common Types of Tendinitis:

  1. Rotator Cuff Tendinitis: Affecting shoulder tendons, common in overhead activities.
  2. Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Inflammation on the outer elbow from repetitive wrist and arm motions.
  3. Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): Inner elbow inflammation due to repetitive gripping or throwing.
  4. Achilles Tendinitis: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, crucial for ankle movement.
  5. Patellar Tendinitis (Jumper’s Knee): Affects the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone.

Symptoms:

  1. Pain: Tenderness or pain at the affected tendon, ranging from gradual onset to sudden.
  2. Swelling: Visible swelling or a lump near the inflamed tendon.
  3. Stiffness: Difficulty moving the joint connected to the affected tendon.
  4. Weakness: Reduced strength in the area surrounding the inflamed tendon.
  5. Warmth and Redness: Skin over the tendon may become warm and red.

Treatment and Management:

  1. Rest: Adequate rest to allow the inflamed tendon to heal.
  2. Ice: Applying ice packs to reduce swelling and numb the affected area.
  3. Compression: Using compression bandages to provide support and control swelling.
  4. Elevation: Elevating the affected limb to minimize swelling.
  5. Pain Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs.
  6. Physical Therapy: Tailored exercises to strengthen the tendon and enhance flexibility.
  7. Bracing or Splinting: Providing external support to the affected joint.
  8. Corticosteroid Injections: Injected to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  9. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: Using the patient’s own blood components to stimulate healing.
  10. Surgery: Reserved for severe cases when conservative measures fail.

Seeking prompt medical attention, accurate diagnosis, and tailored treatment plans are essential for managing tendinitis effectively. Early intervention enhances the likelihood of a successful recovery and prevents the development of chronic conditions.

Scarborough in Toronto

Andrew Chan, R.H.N., DOMP, B.Sc., DO (Euro)

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