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Tendinitis | Treatment and Prevention

What does it mean?

Tendons refer to the thick cords that join your muscles to the bones. Tendinitis is caused due to inflamed or irritated tendons which result in restricted movement of the affected joint. While any tendon in one’s body can develop this condition, it mostly seems to affect our elbows, wrists, shoulders, ankles and heels. It also knows by other names such as jumper’s knees, tennis elbow or swimmer’s shoulder. 


What causes it?

Amongst various reasons that can cause tendinitis, repetitive action remains the most common one. Primarily, tendons serve the purpose of helping you move multiple times e.g. while playing a sport or exercising. But if these movements are repeated inaccurately, it could lead to tendinitis. 


Athletes who partake in sports such as basketball, bowling, tennis, etc. are at a high-risk for developing tendinitis. Another contributing factor to its onset would be if an individual’s job is physically demanding and entails overhead lifting and exertion, over an extended period. Various other reasons that could result in tendinitis include:



Identifying the symptoms

Typically, the most tell-tale sign of tendinitis would be a pain, swelling and tenderness near the affected joint area, which usually develops as a dull but prolonged ache, that hurts especially during movement. 


Sometimes calcium deposits can also be found near the joint. If gone unnoticed, it can also lead to tendon rupture which might require surgery, but it is usually easy to diagnose and prevent. 


The diagnostic process involves the doctor inspecting your past medical history, range of motion and conducting a physical exam to identify the area where the pain is concentrated. Apart from this, X-Rays or MRI Scans might also be used for further investigation.



Tendinitis can only be treated with adequate rest. Hence people who have it are recommended bed-rest and apply heat-pads or icepacks to the affected area. Wrapping compression bandages could also aid in reducing the swelling.


In severe cases, patients are brought in for surgery to remove the affected tissue, given corticosteroid injections and advised regular physiotherapy. 


Preventive Measures

Since prevention is better than cure, here are few ways to lower your risk of developing tendinitis. 

  • Avoid: If you notice any of the symptoms while performing a particular physical task, it is best to avoid doing it entirely for a while and forever in some cases.


  • Switch it up: As we have seen, the primary culprit behind tendinitis is repetitive movement. So, limit the direction that puts stress on any of your tendons, e.g., if you are a baseball player, try milder activities like swimming or biking.


  • Work on your technique: Although this seems like a no-brainer, many people continue training or working in a way that adversely affects their bodies. Hence make sure you work on improving your technique under professional supervision.


If treated early on, tendinitis can be curbed entirely. Still, even after it has been treated, individuals should make it a point to alter their behaviours to avoid complications in the future. 


Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

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