What is it
Tendons are the fibrous cords that anchor muscle to bone and they are vulnerable, since the force of all muscle contractions is transmitted through them. Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon the suffix itis means inflammation and is characterized by pain, swelling, warmth, and redness.
Tendinitis is the problem behind many common overuse injuries and it can be misleading: the discomfort can be severe when physical exercise, and then lessen as you continue, only to return abruptly once you’ve stopped. Possibly the most usual type of tendinitis is tennis elbow. In sports and actions which comprise jumping and running, tendinitis is most probable to develop in the foot, knee, and the Achilles tendon at the backside of the ankles. For cyclists, knees are most vulnerable. Shoulder (rotator cuff) tendinitis can develop from pitching a ball, swinging a golf club, or swimming.
- Tenderness, pain, dull ache, stiffness, or mild swelling around a tendon or joint.
- Restricted movement.
- Tendon weakness.
What causes it
Almost all active people eventually suffer some form of tendinitis. Regular exercisers are especially at risk because of the strong forces produced by their well-conditioned muscles. These surge tension on the tendons that may then rub alongside ligaments, bones and other tendons, producing irritation which leads to tendinitis.
Even if you are sedentary, you can develop tendinitis from repetitive activities like carrying a briefcase or playing a musical instrument for long hours. Posture problems can also lead to tendinitis, as can sudden physical trauma to the tendon resulting from a fall, for example, or a sharp blow or twist to a joint.
What if you do nothing
Tendinitis occurs through repetitive bodily pressure, so changing or removing the activity blamable for it should cause the pain to go away. If you continue with the activity that caused the tendinitis and do nothing to eliminate the problem, the ailment may become chronic.
Stop your activity
At the first signs of tendinitis pain and swelling immediately stop the activity that’s causing the pain. This will give the tendon a chance to heal. To eliminate the risk of aggravating the injury, don’t resume your activity at full tilt until the pain is completely gone.
To quell inflammation and reduce any swelling, ice die injured area 20 minutes a session several times a day for the first 72 hours. After using ice, wrap the area with an elastic bandage. After three days, apply heat or alternate heat and cold to increase circulation and speed healing. Hot showers, hot compresses, or a heating pad (at low or medium settings) may be sufficient.
Use ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin according to label directions for relief of pain and inflammation.
When pain diminishes, start doing stretching exercises to restore flexibility.
The stronger your muscles, the less stress placed on your tendons. When pain is gone, use light weights to strengthen the muscle groups around the injured tendon.
Keep muscles flexible
Stretching and strengthening routines can help prevent tendinitis from developing by keeping the muscles supple and strong.
Develop proper technique
Nearly every sport and activity has its vulnerable tendons, but properly executed movements will do a lot to prevent tendinitis problems from developing. Learn the proper movements for any sport you play regularly.
Don’t overdo it
Drastically increasing the distance you run or suddenly working out more strenuously or longer than usual can produce muscle fatigue and thus lead to an injury.
Compensate for musculoskeletal problems
If your feet happen to roll inward (over pronate) as you run, you may develop a form of tendinitis in your knee that’s commonly called runner’s knee. You may need to consult a physical therapist, orthopedist, or other specialist for treatment.
Counter muscle imbalances
If your calf muscles are very strong from running, but you don’t strengthen the opposing shin muscles, you increase the chances of injuring your Achilles tendon. Strengthen the key muscle groups for your activity.