What is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis in the forearm might be treated with a pressure band.
Tendonitis is easier to prevent than to treat, such as in the case of tennis elbow.
A physical therapist can recommend specific exercises to help alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with tendonitis.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jane Harmon
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Tendons are the connective bands that attach muscles to the bone; when muscles contract, the tendons transmit the force to the bone, moving the limb. Tendonitis, also called tendinitis, is a condition in which the tendon is inflamed and painful. It's caused by overuse, and since tendons connect at the joint, it is felt as joint pain. This condition is often indistinguishable from bursitis, which is an inflammation of the fluid sacs that cushion joints.

Tendonitis is a common sports injury and can take six weeks to heal properly. Continuing to use the inflamed joint can further damage the tendon, making recovery time longer and more debilitating. The condition can also be a work-related injury in cases of repetitive stress.

There are several types of treatment for tendonitis, depending on the severity of the strain. Anti-inflammatories will relieve both the swelling and the pain associated with it. Icing a sore joint will also reduce tissue swelling, but can interfere with circulation. Analgesics address the pain but not the swelling. A topical application of ointments containing menthol eases joint pain and has the added benefit of increasing local circulation to the joint — and increased circulation speeds healing to any injury.

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In some cases, depending on location, joint support such as a sling, a brace or a band is helpful in allowing the joint to rest sufficiently for tendon inflammation to heal. A pressure band around the forearm, for instance, prevents the muscle from contracting enough to worse tennis elbow.

Tendonitis is easier to prevent than to treat. One easy preventative measure is to make sure you stretch adequately before exercising; inflammation is much more likely to strike cold, stiff tendons than those that have been gently stretched and allowed to warm up. Individuals should also increase their activity level gradually, which is also helpful in preventing many sports-related injuries.

Methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) is a compound being studied for its ability to repair damaged tissue, including the tendons. It is a naturally occurring substance that is formed in the ocean and finds its way into the food supply through the rainfall watering crops and feedstock. MSM in the body decreases with age. Studies about its use as a dietary supplement are underway and early results are promising.

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Discuss this Article

disciples
Post 3

I there any tendonitis exercises that I can do to strengthen my tendons and hopefully prevent or slow the onset of tendonitis?

gravois
Post 2

I have only been running for about three weeks now but I think I may have developed ankle tendonitis.

Can someone describe the symptoms and treatments to me? Have you struggled with this before when you ran?

I am hoping that I can get this taken care of and get back in the routine of running without having to see a doctor.

Ivan83
Post 1

I have been playing tennis since I was a kid and tendonitis is a constant struggle for me. I used to only have it in one of my elbows but it has started showing up in my knees as well.

There are ways to relieve some of the symptoms, but there is really no good way to cure the problem without giving up the sport. The pain is annoying, but I would not want to give up playing and all the health benefits I get out of tennis just because it made me a little sore.

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