Tendons are tough, flexible bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Tendons are a rope like cord that anchors your muscles to your bone. Tendonitis is irritation or inflammation of a tendon. Tendonitis can occur in any of your tendons but most commonly affects shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. This is typically caused by overuse (repeated motion) or overload (too much weight/stress too quickly).
Most Common Types of Tendonitis
- Lateral Elbow Tendonitis (Tennis Elbow): Irritation of the tissue connecting the forearm muscle to the elbow.
- Medial Elbow Tendonitis (Golfer’s Elbow): Inflammation of the tissues on the inner side of the elbow.
- Patellar Tendonitis (Jumpers/Runners Knee): Irritation of the tissue connecting the kneecap to the shin bone (patellar tendon)
- Achilles Tendonitis: Injury of the tendon that connects the calf muscle to heel bone (achilles tendon)
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Inflammation of a shoulder tendon rubbing against the shoulder blade
- De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: Irritation of tendons on the thumb side of the wrist.
- Strengthening Exercises
- Stretching Exercises
- Corticosteroid Injections
- Splinting and braces
- Surgery if injury is a complete rupture
Without proper treatment, tendonitis will increase your risk of a tendon rupture which is much more serious and usually requires surgery. If your tendon irritation persists for over two weeks, the tendon may begin to degenerate and weaken.
What to do if you think you have tendonitis?
Tendonitis is easily diagnosed with a thorough physical therapy examination. You do not need to see a doctor for this condition. If your tendonitis does not get better with rest, a physical therapist can give you specialized treatments to regain strength, improve motion, alleviate pain, and improve function.