The tendons are the connective tissue that joins the muscles to the bones. They are very tough, flexible and strong, but they can become injured, bruised and be torn under stress. They can become inflamed, and they can get tiny tears in various places, which is painful.
Most often tendonitis occurs in shoulder, the wrist, elbow, wrist, knees, the achilles region, and sometimes in the back areas. Most of the time the condition is caused by a repetitive motion, such as in tennis, players get “tennis elbow” which is a strain from applying the same tennis stroke over and over again. Or in baseball, a pitcher will get tendonitis in the rotator cuff of the shoulder.
Tendonitis occurs most often with athletes, where different parts of the body is placed under undue strain while playing. It can occur with weekend warriors, where people participate in weekend athletics a little more enthusiastically than normal, and even when we get older with too much walking or gardening.
Some prevention is in order here, as a little wisdom can help in warding off the symptoms of the condition. One thing you can always do, and you see athletes doing this before games, is to always warm up before you actually participate in the event. Stretching and loosing up the body by jogging a little and getting the muscles and tendons alike.
During your warm up begin slowly, and gradually step up your routine until you break a little sweat. Stay away from work, for example that require stretching or staying in one position for extended periods of time, as that than unduly strain muscles and tendons.
Wear the proper shoes, especially if you are jogging, playing golf or tennis, or other sports that require lots of physical activity. Seek the guidance of a trainer or a sports doctor for advice about the technique of playing your sport so you can avoid tendonitis.
If you do find that you suddenly have sharp pain in the areas near the joints where the muscles join the bones, the quicker the treatment the more quickly you will recover. Place ice packs on the area as quickly as possible for 20 minute periods, for 3 or 4 times per day.
If you have swelling or pain immediately after participating in a sport, go ahead and ice the area right then. For the reduction inflammation, pain and swelling such over the counter medications as ibuprofen and aspirin can be taken, and an antibiotic can be taken if it is determined by your doctor that an infection is the cause of the problem.
If the tendonitis is particularly advanced, splinting or a sling may be appropriate, but it is important to gently keep moving the joint and the tendon to keep it from “freezing” or getting stiff.
You want to keep the blood circulating because that is what will speed the healing of tears in the tendon. Since the tears in the tendon which causes tendonitis usually very small, surgery is rarely necessary, but depending upon where the injury is located recovery can take weeks or months.
We offer a wide range of options to take care of tendonitis, surgery and many other needs at any of our Utah offices. For information on tendonitis and solutions go here >