What is tendinitis?

Vincent Burke
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Tendinitis is an inflammation response to a tendon (connection from bone to muscle) from either doing too much too soon (acute) or doing too much for a long period of time (over -use) chronic, (tendonosis). As we age the tissue (tendon, muscle) changes along with the loss of ability to handle the stresses exposing one to tendinitis or even tears. At a younger age the tissue is more adaptable and has the ability to withstand  more adverse strains and stresses but if too much tendinitis can still occur. The treatment is one of several, but firstly, one needs to modify the stresses/strains on the tissue which will calm the inflammation response down. Next, you may need to seek out what the  cause is of the tendinitis. This may take a visit to a Physical Therapist or an Orthopedist who can assess the injury, modify the stresses, and/or advise/implement the appropriate plan of care in order for one to return to sport and life activities.

Tendinitis is inflammation of one of the tendons that attaches a muscle to a bone.  This can cause severe pain, especially when the muscle is used.  One of the most common types of tendinitis occurs at the elbow, where it is called tennis elbow because the movements in tennis can trigger an attack. Other common sites are the shoulder, elbow, Achilles' tendon, or the heel.

Tendinitis can happen alone or along with true arthritis in the nearby joint. In some cases, tendinitis can progress to what we call a “frozen shoulder.” When this happens the ligaments and tendons around the shoulder may progressively stiffen until the joint can barely move without pain.
Tendinitis is defined as small (microscopic) tears of the muscle's attachment to the bone (known as the tendon). Tendinitis is a common injury in active people that can occur in almost any muscle in the body. Typically, it is seen in the muscles that are repeatedly used and stressed with exercising. The most common places for tendinitis are the biceps and the patellar tendon of the knee. The condition is usually treated by avoiding the exercises or activities that cause pain in order to allow the small tears to heal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.