Tendinitis affects the tendons, the fibrous structures that connect muscles to bones. It is a common injury that can occur in any part of the body where there are tendons, but it is more frequent in areas subject to repetitive movements or overload.
causes of tendonitis
Tendinitis can be triggered by different factors. The most common ones are:
- Overuse or repetitive movements of a particular tendon;
- Advanced age;
- Lack of physical conditioning;
- Bad posture;
- Traumatic injuries and certain illnesses;
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
Main symptoms of tendonitis:
The symptoms of tendinitis vary according to the region affected, but usually involve pain and discomfort in the tendon area. Symptoms may worsen with physical activity or specific movements. In addition to pain, it is common to experience:
- Local swelling;
- Sensation of heat in the affected region.
In more severe cases, there may be restriction of movement and difficulty in carrying out everyday tasks.
Common types of tendonitis
There are several types of tendinitis that affect different parts of the body. Some examples include:
- Shoulder tendonitis: Also known as rotator cuff tendinitis, it affects the tendons that make up the rotator cuff in the shoulder. It is common in people who play sports that require repetitive arm movements, such as throwing a ball or swimming.
- patellar tendonitis: Also called “jumper’s knee,” it occurs in the patellar tendon, which connects the patella (kneecap) to the tibia bone. It is common in sports that involve jumping, such as basketball or volleyball.
- Achilles tendinitis: It happens in the Achilles tendon, located at the back of the leg, near the heel. It is common in runners and people involved in activities that require repetitive calf movements, such as running or jumping.
- elbow tendinitis: There are two main types of tendinitis of the elbow: lateral epicondylitis (also known as “tennis elbow”) and medial epicondylitis (or “golfer’s elbow”). Lateral epicondylitis affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow, while medial epicondylitis affects the tendons on the inside of the elbow.
- Tendonitis of the wrist and hand: It can affect the tendons that run through the wrist and hands, such as the extensor or flexor tendon. It is common in people who perform repetitive hand and finger movements, such as constant typing or excessive use of hand tools.
Treatment of tendinitis is aimed at relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and promoting recovery of the affected tendon. Treatment options can vary depending on the severity of the case, but generally include:
- Rest and moderation of activity: avoiding or reducing activities that cause pain and strain on the tendon is essential to allow for recovery.
- ice application: Ice packs can be applied to the affected area to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Medicines: pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Physiotherapy: Specific exercises and techniques performed under the guidance of a physical therapist can help strengthen the muscles around the tendon, improve flexibility and speed recovery.
- Auxiliary treatment modalities: therapies such as ultrasound, laser, shock wave and acupuncture can be used to promote tendon healing and relieve pain in selected cases.
- Surgery: in extreme situations, when conservative treatments are not effective, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the damaged tendon.
How to prevent
Some measures can be adopted to prevent the occurrence of tendinitis, such as:
- Perform adequate stretching and warm-up before physical activities or tasks involving repetitive movements.
- Practice muscle-strengthening exercises to ensure good physical conditioning.
- Maintain proper posture during daily activities and work.
- Take regular breaks during repetitive activities to rest your tendons.
- Avoid being overweight and adopt a healthy diet to promote healthy tendons and muscles.
- Seek medical advice at the first sign of persistent pain or discomfort in the tendons.
Tendinitis has a cure?
Yes, tendinitis is usually curable. The goal of tendinitis treatment is to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing of the affected tendon. Recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the injury and how well the treatment is followed.
It is necessary to seek a proper diagnosis and start treatment as soon as possible to prevent complications and promote recovery. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice tailored to your case.
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