Are you a pretty active person who has been noticing pain in your knees, shoulders, or other places where the muscle connects to the bone? You might be experiencing tendonitis. Tendonitis is when the tendon–connects the bone and muscle–is inflamed. This typically happens because we lose elasticity as we age, so when we do repetitive movements in activities and sports like tennis, golf, baseball, it becomes inflamed a lot easier. Not to be confused with tendinitis, which is tiny tears in the tendon that do not cause inflammation, this condition can cause swelling, redness, and warmth when the tendon is irritated. If you are interested in learning more about this kind of condition to your tendons, we have compiled information for people to gain more knowledge about this type of condition of the tendons.
What Is Tendonitis Caused By?
People tend to develop this condition in their tendons when they perform a repetitive action. For instance, when people play soccer, garden, paint, or do some other type of physical activity, they are repeating the same movement over and over. There are many tendons in our bodies, but the tendons that are most affected by this kind of condition are ones that don’t have as many blood vessels; these types of tendons that become weakened by repetitive movement are called watershed zones.
So where can you get tendonitis? Depending on the activity you perform, is going to depend on where the tendonitis develops. Here are places where the condition is most likely to form
- Achilles tendon
- The base of the thumb
If you are a runner, swimmer, biker, or partake in physical activities and are experiencing pain, it’s important to know if you have this condition. Tendonitis feels like your tendon is cracking or grating when you move it. This pain will be accompanied by swelling the is red and warm, and a lump over the affected tendon.
While people who engage in physical activity are more prone to this tendon condition, there are other factors that put people at risk of this condition. Tendonitis risk factors include people who are over the age 40, with the risks becoming more common as they age. And the other risk factor is the occupation of the person. If a job has you repeating a movement throughout the day, that person is more likely to develop tendonitis. If you experience fever, can’t move the area where the tendon is swollen or are in pain all over, it’s time to see a doctor.
A lot of times people confused tendonitis with tendinitis. With tendonitis, the pain and inflammation will happen suddenly, whereas tendinitis is constant pain. Individuals usually want to know when does tendonitis become tendinosis, but the answer is that they are both completely different conditions. While they both result in tendon pain, they way they are treated are completely different. People who suffer from tendonitis will react well to the R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method. So the most helpful thing is to restrict movement in order to reduce any inflammation and rehabilitate the tendon. Tendinitis involves people reducing their activity and the problem will usually clear up in a few days.
Can You Get Rid of Tendonitis?
If you or someone has this type of condition affecting their tendon, they usually want to know, “Can tendonitis go away on its own?” You should never avoid tendonitis if you are experiencing that type of pain. Usually, when people take anti-inflammatory medication, rest the area, ice the inflamed area, and avoid aggravating the area by taking a break from activities, it can clear up on it’s own. If the condition is pretty severe, you might need procedures like electrical stimulation and laser therapy to reduce pain and provide more healing. By getting the proper treatment and rest, this type of condition should clear up pretty quickly. But what can happen if tendonitis is not treated? When this condition is not treated right away, it can develop into chronic tendonitis. This can result in chronic pain, a ruptured tendon, and lasting damage to the tendon. In some cases, the pain can spread to other areas.
Is Heat Good for Tendonitis?
Usually, when we injure a part of our body, we either apply ice or heat to it. In the case of tendonitis, it’s better to ice it than to apply heat on the inflamed area when it first appears. But why ice tendonitis? The reason that it’s better to ice tendonitis than use heat during the first couple of days is that ice can numb pain better. Another thing that ice can do is constrict blood vessels, which reduces swelling and inflammation. Because the areas that are most affected by this condition in the tendon have fewer blood vessels, this can be better for healing. After a few days of icing the area, you can apply heat to the injured tendon. Heat is great because it increases the blood flow, which relaxes muscles, helps with pain, and advances the healing process.
If you or someone you know has this condition in their tendon and you are looking to get relief from this condition, there are a couple of things you can do.
- Promote healing by taking a break from activities and rest your body.
- If you start exercising again, be sure to take it slow and rest.
- Help yourself heal more by divulging in anti-inflammatory foods.
- Decrease intake of foods and drinks that cause inflammation.
- Ice or use heat on the areas when needed.
- Use a bandage, brace, or splint to protect the affected tendon.
- Consider taking supplements like collagen or using essential oils to reduce swelling and any pain.