Tendonitis

A tendon attaches a muscle to bone and if this becomes inflammed and painful it is known as Tendonitis. ‘Tendinopathy” is an umbrella term that describes the many (not inflammatory in nature) conditions that may affect the tendon. A patient suffering from a tendonitis condition may complain about impairment of performance, swelling and pain.

Common Tendonitis Conditions:-

Patellar tendinopathy: This condition is also known as the ‘jumper’s knee’. The tendon of the quad muscles is affected and irritated leading to the onset of localized and insidious-anterior knee pain. The problem is seen amongst high jumping athletes, volleyball and basketball players etc.
Bicipital tendinopathy: Pain persists in the bicipital grove around anterior shoulder. The patient feels acute pain when trying to supinate the forearm or with shoulder flexion.
Rotator cuff tendinopathy: This condition usually occurs with occupations/ activities that require overhead movements such as throwing sports, swimming, painting & shuttering etc. Shoulder impingement is often the medical diagnosis and most commonly refers to the supraspinatus muscle tendonn.
Medial epicondylitis: The problem is commonly seen among carpenters, bowlers, golfers, little league pitchers. The patients complain about the pain in their medial-elbow region due to overuse of the wrist flexor muscles leading to inflammation of their tendon that inserts into the medial elbow.
Lateral epicondylitis: Pain is felt at the lateral part of elbow that is aggravated when trying to twist or grasp any thing. Manual labors or racquet sports players are common sufferers, due to excessive and repetitive wrist extension, causing a strain to the tendon of these muscles.
Calcific tendonitis: This describes a phenomenon where calcium deposits build-up in unnecessary proportions within the tendon. The victims are mostly the diabetics and people with some chronic diseases.

Treatments for tendonitis:-

The first treatment is to reduce inflammation and pain. Patients are advised to remain immobilized as much as possible and take sufficient rests. Some times a removable brace or splint is advised to provide greater relief. Compressing with cold or hot water may also be beneficial to the patients. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines also work well in this position. Some of the patients need steroid injection in their tendon sheath followed by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can work to release the tight muscles of the affected tendon and strengthen the muscle eventually, allowing for an individual to resume normal function. In severe cases, surgery may be the only option as the final resort.  

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