Tendonitis is a condition where inflammation in the tendons is observed. It can occur due to old age and excessive wear and tear, most commonly caused due to acute injury while performing demanding activities. It usually affects the hands and legs. Thus more senior people and people who perform a lot of physical activity, such as during sports, are at the highest risk of developing tendonitis.
There are different names to refer to tendonitis based on the location of the condition. These include Achilles tendonitis and Supraspinatus tendinitis, a few other forms of tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis occurs in the area between the heel and the calf. This form of tendonitis is a prevalent sports injury, occurring due to incorrect posture or falling. It can also happen due to improper fitting of the foot in the shoe. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk of developing this kind of tendonitis. Supraspinatus tendonitis causes pain and difficulty in the movement of the arms and shoulders. It occurs due to inflammation in the tendons at the top of the shoulder joint. This kind of tendonitis also leads to sleeping problems as patients with the condition may experience pain in their shoulders while lying down, making sleeping difficult. There are other types of tendonitis that affect the wrist, thumb, and elbows.
Symptoms of tendonitis include pain during movement of a particular joint due to inflammation in the tendons. Patients may feel a sensation of cracking or grating of their tendons during activity. Patients also notice swelling, redness, and inflammation of the affected region. In extreme cases, the tendons can lead to severe damage causing ruptures. These ruptures can be felt as gaps in the tendons making movement extremely difficult. Factors such as age, lifestyle, and underlying health conditions can put someone at a higher risk of developing the disease. People with diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are much more likely to develop tendonitis. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms described above, please consult a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment shall prevent your condition’s worsening, thus reducing the pain and discomfort you feel.
A doctor may perform a physical examination followed by a review of one’s medical history. The doctor will look for signs of inflammation in the concerned area and advise to get other imaging tests done. X-rays can highlight calcium deposits around the tendons, thus helping diagnose the disease. Imaging tests such as ultrasound and MRI can also give insight into the swelling in the tendons.
Treatment primarily occurs in the form of physical therapy. Patients will be advised to rest their joints adequately, apply cooling or heating pads to reduce inflammation, and may be prescribed pain killers to help with the pain. Careful movement and massaging of the concerned area may provide relief to the patient. An alternate form of treatment might be to use shock therapy, depending on your condition. Shock therapy involves breaking down calcium deposits near the tendons using extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). In extreme cases where the tendon has ruptured, surgery may be necessary.