Muscles have a main body which contracts and also a tendon which attaches it to the bone to form a strong pulley system. Many tendons have a special sheath that protects and guides their movement but this can also compound any irritation that occurs. Tendons are not flexible like the body of the muscle and are commonly irritated or damaged by repetitive strain. The tendon becomes inflamed, which increases its size, often causing a vicious cycle.
Most common tendinitis sites:
- Supraspinatus tendonitis: in the shoulders
- Tennis/golfer’s elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Achilles tendonitis: at the back of the ankle
- Patella tendonitis: in the knee cap
- De Quervains synovitis: in the thumb
- Trigger finger: where a finger gets ‘locked’
A major problem with tendonitis is that it prevents the sufferer from doing those activities which have caused the condition. Often this prevents people from working normally or doing the things they love like exercise or other hobbies. That is why it is very important to get treatment as soon as possible after the problem occurs.
Tendonitis requires a careful and expert diagnosis by a trained professional. It is a very common presentation in clinic and where appropriate, receives careful and expert treatment. Firstly an assessment and analysis is performed to establish how serious the problem is and then, if appropriate, gentle treatment is performed to mobilize structures, decreasing inflammation, and freeing up the structures causing the symptoms. This reduces pain and increases mobility.
Ultimately the aim is not just to treat it but prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. This includes education on how to keep the area in question healthy in the future. Please call to talk to a trained professional if you want to know more.