Tendons are the strong, flexible, fibrous bands that connect the muscle to the bone.
When a tendon becomes inflamed, the normal movement of the tendon changes, which causes more pain and inflammation, resulting in a condition known as tendonitis (or tendinitis). Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, and it causes pain and tenderness outside the joint. Symptoms include mild swelling, tenderness, and dull aching, especially when moving the area around the joint. This condition can develop in any tendon, but it most commonly occurs around the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels, causing conditions commonly known as pitcher’s or swimmer’s shoulder, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and jumper’s knee.
Tendonitis can result from a sudden injury or overuse and repetitive motion of a joint over time.
Incorrect posture or poor conditioning before exercise are also risk factors for tendonitis. Anything that can put too much stress on a tendon will put it at risk of becoming inflamed and irritated. The elasticity of ease of movement of a tendon reduces with age and can contribute to the presence of tendonitis as well.
Tendonitis is known to respond well to chiropractic treatment because chiropractic is a natural way of reducing inflammation while alleviating stress and pressure on the joint.
Treatment of tendonitis includes icing the area, chiropractic manipulation, rest, physical therapy, and medication for the pain if needed. Without proper treatment, tendonitis increases the chance of rupturing the tendon(s) which may call for surgery. A condition known as tendinosis can develop if irritation continues without time to heal or rest, resulting in degenerative changes in the tendon.
There are several prevention methods we recommend to avoid developing tendonitis. Recognizing your body’s limits and ceasing an activity to rest if it brings about pain or discomfort is important in general but will help in avoiding excessive stress on the tendons. We also recommend doing proper research on the activity or exercise technique you are using to determine if it can be improved to avoid injury. Ensure that you are properly stretching and hydrating to maximize the range of motions of the joints. Lastly, maintaining individualized correct workplace ergonomics and temporary supportive braces will protect your joints and tendons from stress.