Tendonitis also is known as tendinitis. It is a condition in which the tendons become inflamed or irritated. Tendon is a tissue which connects muscles to the bones. When a tendon becomes irritated or suffers microscopic tear one suffer from the condition called tendonitis. In most cases its causes are unknown. However, when the cause is identified it is mostly induced due to two main reasons:-
- OVERUSE: – A particular body motion is repeated too often.
- OVERLOAD: – The level of individual actions such as weight lifting is increased too quickly.
It is also found to be caused due to an infection called Gonorrhea. But it is a rare chance. It is also common for people who have diabetes. In recent years it has also been found due to antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin or Levofloxacin.
TYPES OF TENDONITIS
It is most common in the upper shoulder and lower section of the elbow. It has been least found in hips.
TENDONITIS IN THE SHOULDER: – The most common tendonitis is located in the shoulder which is known as rotator off tendonitis. In this case, the supraspinatus muscle, which connects upper portion of the upper arm bone to the shoulder joint is affected. In most cases, the supraspinatus tendon is injured due to excessive use of the arm. The person doing swimming or doing that type of occupation in which the arm is repeatedly elevated is more prone to suffer from this kind of tendonitis.
TENDONITIS IN THE ELBOW: – This type of tendonitis is caused due to the overuse of the elbow. The tendonitis is common among the athletes involved in throwing or racquet sports. There are two types of tendonitis involving the elbow, lateral epicondylitis and medial epicondylitis. Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow affects the outer side of the elbow joint. This is most common in adults who are involved in racquet sports. It is caused due to the repeatedly twisting of the wrist. Medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer’s elbow affects the inner side of the elbow. It is a less common injury than tennis elbow, and despite its name, it is caused by the people involved in an occupation where there is the excessive movement of elbow than to sports. It can be triggered quickly by repeatedly swinging a golf club or throwing a basketball.
TENDONITIS IN THE KNEE: – It is also known by the name jumper’s knee which involves either patellar tendon at the lower edge of the kneecap or quadriceps tendon at the upper edge of the kneecap. It is most common to the athletes participating in the sports such as distance running or basketball.
TENDONITIS IN THE WRIST: – It is caused due to the excessive twist and flexes in the wrist. It commonly appears in the form a disease called de Quervain’s disease. It causes pain in the back of the wrist at the base of the thumb. It occurs more in the people who repeatedly gasps or pinch with the thumbs. But sometimes it also happens in the wrist of the pregnant women for no reasons.
ACHILLES TENDONITIS: – Achilles tendonitis as the name suggests affects the Achilles tendon, the large ropelike tendon which is attached to the heel bone at the back of the foot. It is most common in sports involving running and repeatedly jumping. It is also caused due to the fault running techniques or poorly fitting shoes which dig into the Achille tendon above the heel.
CAUSES OF TENDONITIS
The most common cause of tendonitis is the excessive movement of the tendon tissues. This repeated action makes the tissues weak, avoiding the further movement of muscles. The sports athletes are prone to tendonitis, as they are involved in the sports which cause the repeated movement of the tissue. Excessive running and repeated jumping cause tendonitis in the knee, overuse of the elbow causes tennis elbow, and there are much more. Not only to the sports athletes it also occurs in the people who make excessive use of their tendon tissues.
SYMPTOMS OF TENDONITIS
The primary symptom of tendonitis is a pain. Some positions or movement of the muscle causes excess pain. One may also feel the lack of smoothness in the muscle. Seldom the tendon sheath fills with liquid and sometimes become dry which causes friction the movement of muscles and further leads to swelling and pain. In severe cases tendon ruptures which cause excess pain and permanent change in the function of the related muscle and joint.
Serious complications of tendonitis are adhesions, in which the tightening of tendon takes place.
RISK FACTORS OF TENDINITIS
A risk factor is something which increases the possibility of developing a certain disease. As one gets older, the tendon becomes less flexible making them more prone to tendonitis. The person who is subjected to the job which includes repetitive movements, awkward positions, reaching overhead frequently, vibration, forceful exertion has a higher chance of suffering from tendonitis. People who practice sports which involve repetitive movements like basketball, golf, running are more likely to suffer from tendonitis. It has also been found that individuals who are suffering from diabetes also suffer from tendonitis. However, experts didn’t know the reason for it. People with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of developing tenosynovitis.
Tendonitis can be diagnosed by GP (general practitioner, general physician) after complete physical examination of the body. During the diagnosis of tendonitis, a creaky sound is heard which is due to the tendon sheath that has become thicker. Imaging tests such as Ultrasound or MRI is also useful for the treatment of tendonitis.
TREATMENT OF TENDONITIS
Treatment is aimed to release pain and reduce inflammation.
- REST: – The person who is suffering from tendonitis is, first of all, advised to stop all the works which involve repetitive and awkward movements. If not stop he is advised to reduce all these actions which will help in preventing further complications. A bandage may also be used to halt the movement. In severe cases, resting in plaster may be required.
- HEAT AND COLD: – Either an ice pack or hot towel must be applied to the required region. It releases pain and also reduces swelling. It is advised not to use ice in the area directly. The ice must be wrapped in a towel or use a proper ice pack device.
- PAIN RELIEVERS: – Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs) have been found useful in releasing pain associated with tenosynovitis.
- CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS: – Injecting the steroid injection around the tendon or in the tendon sheath also reduces pain and swelling. However excessive injection weakens the tendon tissue, thus increasing the risk of a rupture.
- PHYSICAL THERAPY: – A physical therapist can massage the affected area thus providing important relief and accelerating the healing process. A particular exercise designed to stretch and strengthen the tendon muscle may also help.
- SHOCK WAVE THERAPY OR SURGERY: – The shock wave is passed through the skin, which results in the breaking of calcium deposits and then it is removed surgically.
PREVENTION OF TENDONITIS
- EXERCISE: – Exercises specifically designed to strengthen the tendon muscles also helps in preventing tendinitis. But it is important to seek professional help for strengthening and stretching exercises.
- STRETCHING AND COOLING DOWN: – People involved in sporting activities make sure that they warm up and stretch properly. Cooling down exercises and stretches also prevents tendonitis from developing.
- REPETITIVE MOVEMENTS: – One must stop repetitive movements. Avoiding or taking rests reduces the risk. The one who is involved in repetitive and awkward movements faces a higher chance to suffer from tendonitis.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION AND ANSWERS
Q1. WHAT IS A TENDON?
A tendon is a fibrous connecting tissue, joining muscle to bone. Unlike ligaments, which connect bone to bone, they are not purely supporting structures. They help the body to move.
Q2. WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF ACHILLES TENDON?
The Achilles Tendon transmits force from the powerful gastroc-soleus muscles to the foot. When these muscles contract they pull up the heel bone, causing the foot to bend downwards. While we walk the entire weight of the body is borne by the foot and is the gastroc soleus that makes us move forward.
Q3. WHAT IS BEST THERAPY FOR TENDONITIS?
Use of non-steroidal injections, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), rest and exercise are the common therapy. However in the treatment of chronic tendonitis laser therapy is the best technique.