Do you have pain that is felt adjacent to, rather than in, a joint? The cause for your discomfort could be tendinitis of a tendon. Tendons are flexible bands of fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone and plays a vital role for movement. In contrast, ligaments span between bones.
What is tendinitis? Tendinitis, aka tendonitis, means inflammation of a tendon, resulting in pain near a joint. The pain of tendinitis often starts as a dull ache, escalates to pain during movement and crescendos into chronic pain.
The most common cause of tendinitis is repetitively using a tendon in relatively the same manner for an extended period of time. Sports, jobs and hobbies that involve tasks of repeated motion are prime situations for a tendon to reach a point of inflaming aggravation. In addition, tendon inflammation pain may result more readily in association with certain health conditions, for instance:
- autoimmune disorders ~ type 1 diabetes
- overweight because of added pressure on tendons
- rheumatic diseases ~ reactive arthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis
- inflammatory conditions ~ Reiter syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis
Recent studies indicate that treating tendonitis is best via active measures. So, you need to refrain from doing the repetitive movement that caused your pain initially. Yet, you’ll want to continue working the nearby joint and muscles to promote supportive muscle strength and encourage blood flow for faster healing. Essentially, targeting rest to specific action of the affected tendon and not completely resting the entire area. A physical therapist can lend individualized instruction on how best to perform active treatment for your particular tendinitis.
During your down time, elevating and massaging your painful tendon can help move out inflammation. Should your discomfort become difficult to handle, then taking an OTC pain reliever and anti inflammatory assists in reducing pain and inflammation, such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
For some chronic cases, treating inflammation of a tendon requires services of a health care provider, by way of cortisone injection, ultrasound, TENS, prescription strength medication or even surgery.