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What is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis is a common injury that many people suffer from, whether it’s from playing sports, working, or doing everyday activities. However, some people are unsure of whether they have tendinitis and may wait too long to treat it before it can become extremely painful.

Tendinitis occurs when the tendons in your body become inflamed or irritated, causing acute pain in the afflicted area. While tendonitis frequently occurs in the shoulder, elbow, knee, wrist, and achilles, it can happen anywhere in the body with a tendon. Overusing a muscle from repetitive movements and overstraining are the main causes of tendinitis as well as aging, injury, and other diseases, like arthritis and diabetes. Athletes in sports such as golf, tennis, and basketball are at a higher risk of getting tendinitis due to the repetitive movements and stress placed on certain tendons. People with jobs that require physical exertion, overhead lifting, and awkward positions also have a high chance of getting tendinitis.

The faster you are able to catch your tendonitis, the quicker you will be able to recover full strength. Often, with tendinitis, people feel a dull pain at the site of the tendon. There may also be stiffness, swelling, and weakness in the area as well. When doctors and physical therapists treat for tendinitis, they usually recommend the RICE program: rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the injured tendon. Additionally, your physical therapist will design an exercise plan focusing on resting your tendon while strengthening the surrounding muscles. Getting enough rest is essential and returning to activity too soon can re-aggravate and worsen the injury. Surgery is a very rare option and is only necessary if there is irreparable damage to the tendon that treatment cannot fix.

Preventing tendinitis can be as simple as varying your exercise and stretching all of the muscles that your plan on using before an activity. If you are working out or playing a sport, make sure to include a warm-up and cooldown exercises. Also make sure to limit repetitive motions in your joints and muscles and use proper equipment when working or playing sports.

Patients with tendinitis can benefit greatly from working with a physical therapist to design a personalized exercise plan that promotes healing and strengthens surrounding muscles. If you are experiencing symptoms of tendinitis, call your local ACCESS PT office today and take the first step towards healing and recovery.