Tendinitis: Types, symptoms and causes


This is a condition when a tendon swells up and it becomes painful after a tendon injury. It is an irritation of inflammation of a tendon. The tendon is the thick fibrous cords which attach the muscle to bone. Tendonitis is causing pain and tenderness just outside a joint. The tendonitis can happen in any of your tendons but it is most common to happen around your heels, knees, wrists, elbows and shoulders. In the most cases, tendonitis can be successfully treated with medications, physical therapy and rest to reduce the pain. If you have mild tendon injuries, then you can treat them at your home and you will feel better in a period of two to three weeks. If your tendinitis is severe and it leads to the rupture of tendon, then you may need a surgery.

Tendinitis symptoms

The signs and symptoms of tendonitis tend to happen at the point where the tendon attaches to a bone and they can include:

  • Mild swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain which is often described as a dull ache. This pain is especially happening when you are moving the affected limb or joint.

In the most cases tendonitis can be treated with self – care measures. You should talk with your doctor if your signs and symptoms persist and they interfere with your daily activities for more than a few days. Here are the main symptoms of tendonitis:

  • A lump along the tendon
  • Swelling, sometimes with heat or redness
  • Feeling a grating or crackling sensation when you move the tendon
  • Difficulty moving the tendon
  • Pain in the tendon (for example, in the shoulder, elbow or knee) which gets worse when you move

If your symptoms do not improve in a period of a few weeks, then you should talk with your doctor as soon as possible.  If you are in a lot of pain, then you should talk with your doctor. Also if you think that you have ruptured a tendon, then see your doctor as soon as possible.

tendonitis shoulder

Tendinitis causes

This condition can be caused by a sudden injury but it is more likely to happen from the repetition of a particular movement over time. In most cases, people develop tendonitis because their hobbies or jobs are involving repetitive motions and this puts stress on tendons. It is very important to use proper technique when you are performing repetitive movements or job – related activities. It is known that the improper technique can overload the tendon which can happen with the tennis elbow and this could lead to tendonitis.

Tendinitis types

There are different types of tendonitis which are depending on which area of the body is affected. If the upper arm is affected, then you may have biceps tendonitis. If your heels are affected, then you may have Achilles tendonitis. If your wrists and thumbs are affected, then you may have de Quervain’s disease. If your shoulders are affected, then you may have supraspinatus tendonitis or calcific tendonitis. If your elbows are affected, then you may have tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. If your knees are affected, then you may have patellar tendonitis which is also known as jumper’s knee.

Tendinitis risk factors

Every single person can get tendonitis but there are some factors which can increase the risk of it, such as

  • Sports: If you are participating in some sports which are involving repetitive motions, especially if your technique is not optimal, then you have increased chances of getting tendonitis. These sports are next:
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Golf
  • Bowling
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Occupation: This condition is more common in people whose jobs involve:
  • Forceful exertion
  • Vibration
  • Frequent overhead reaching
  • Awkward positions
  • Repetitive motions
  • Age: We know that as we are getting older our tendons become less flexible which is making them easier to injure.

Tendinitis complications

If you do not get the proper treatment, then this condition can increase your risk of experiencing tendon rupture. This is a much more serious condition and it may require surgery. If the tendon irritation is lasting for several weeks or months, then a condition which is known as tendinosis can develop. This condition is involving degenerative changes in the tendon which is accompanied with abnormal new blood vessel growth.


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