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Tendonitis: Symptoms, Causes, And Complications

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Tendonitis might be a new term for some people, but many of you must have been aware that it is generally the irritation or inflammation of tendons. Now, what are tendons? Tendons are generally those thick fibrous cords that attach muscles to your bones. Now you may be wondering, can tendonitis spread to other joints?

This condition can occur in any of your tendons, be it shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, or heels. Many people get confused between tendonitis, and tendinopathy as these terms are often used interchangeably. Several other names are given to the condition, such as jumper’s knee, pitcher’s shoulder, tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, or golfer’s elbow.

Most cases of tendonitis are generally treated successfully with rest, and physical therapy, while medications are used to reduce the pain. However, if tendonitis becomes quite severe, it requires surgery.

Before jumping directly to questions such as what causes tendonitisOr does tendonitis go away and come back Let us find out what are some signs and symptoms of this condition. 

Symptoms Of Tendonitis

A human body generally possesses more than 600 individual skeletal muscles, each one of them is attached to the skeleton by a flexible and robust tissue called the tendon. Without these tissues, humans will never be able to perform movements.

Once the tendons are inflamed after a sports injury or excess activities, it could turn out to be tendonitis. Let us find out some severe symptoms of tendonitis that no one should ever ignore. 

Pain Around The Elbow Region

If you start to notice pain near the elbow or forearm region, it might be a type of tendonitis known as lateral epicondylitis, also referred to as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, or forearm tendonitis. In this condition, the elbow joints get micro-tears from overuse. You may feel pain, swelling, or may find gripping objects difficult.

Many people believe that athletes are affected mainly by lateral epicondylitis, but that is not true. If you perform repetitive movements, you may end up with a tennis elbow. Activities like painting, cooking, playing string instruments such as guitar may play a major role in developing this condition.

According to a recent study, 1-3% of United States citizens develop tennis elbow every year. The condition generally occurs more in office-goers who have jobs with repetitive motions. Some people believe that the chances of tendonitis getting worse with rest are pretty high, but that is not true; the pain settles down if you take an ample amount of rest. 

Unable To Lift The Arm Properly

If you are finding it difficult to lift your arm over your head, it could be because you have tendonitis in the rotator cuff. This condition is often caused by swimming and baseball. Shoulder tendonitis can also cause weakness in the arm, shoulder laxity, pain in the upper back region, and much more.  

Popping, Swollen Thumbs, And Wrists

Spending more time using a pen or pencil, carrying a baby, playing keyboard or piano may cause inflammation in your fingers and wrists. Pain at the base of the thumb or wrist could be Quervain’s tenosynovitis; this condition makes it quite hard to hold objects, while a sticking sensation can be felt while moving the thumb. A finger or upper-thumb joint pain could be a case of a trigger finger. The chances of getting these conditions increases as you age. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical attention before your symptoms get worse. 

Pain And Swelling In Joints

The joints, as mentioned above, are some of the common sites where tendonitis develops; you can also observe widespread tendonitis. The condition can also develop in several other joints and regions such as knees, hips, ankles, and many more.

If you have recently had an injury while playing or are involved in some sort of job that requires repetitive movements, carefully lookout for the following symptoms. 

  • Continuous pain that increases while moving
  • Swelling and redness
  • Warm skin
  • The appearance of a lump or nodule on the tendon
  • A crackling sensation while moving

Causes Of Tendonitis

We all know sports injuries cause this condition, but the most common cause is a repetitive action. Tendons generally help you perform movements, and performing the same motion again and again may cause tendonitis.

It is always advised to perform proper techniques while playing a sport or performing some activity. Improper techniques could overburden the tendon and cause either type of tendonitis.

There are several other causes of tendonitis, such as aging, consumption of certain antibiotics such as Levaquin. There are a few diseases that cause tendon pain, such as diabetes, thyroid disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more.

Athletes who play certain sports such as golf, bowling, tennis, basketball are more prone to getting the disease. Moreover, you also are at a higher risk if you perform repetitive movements, physical excretion, and overhead lifting.

Another rare cause of tendonitis is the infection caused by a cat or dog bite on the hand or finger. 

Complications Caused By Tendonitis

If tendon pain or inflammation is left untreated, it can cause severe damage to the affected area. Your disease could even develop into chronic tendonitis, a tendon rupture or the complete tear of the tendon, or tendinosis ( a severe condition that deteriorates the collagen or structural protein in the tendon).

Chronic tendonitis generally weakens and degenerates the tendon over a period of time. On the other hand, a ruptured tendon can lead to sharp pain, immobility, numbness, and swelling in the affected area. The condition is seen in the tendinosis stage; changes such as micro-tears, fraying, growth of abnormal blood vessels start to appear around the affected area. It can also cause sharp pain, immobility or restrictive movement, and a small tender nodule or lump. 


The following suggestions may help you reduce the chances of getting tendonitis. 

  • You should avoid those activities that put an excessive burden on your tendons, mainly for considerable periods. 
  • If you notice that a specific type of activity is causing immense pain, try avoiding that. Cross-training can help you in such situations. Try running with lower-impact exercise. 
  • There must be some issue with your existing techniques; try to rectify them. You can also consider the advice of professionals before starting a new sport or using new gym equipment. 
  • Before performing any heavy activity or task, take enough time to stretch to maximize your joints’ range of motion. It is also said that the best time to stretch is generally after exercise. 
  • To resist the load and pressure, try to strengthen your muscles. 

If you want to learn more about tendonitis, don’t forget to visit the Realign Spine. At Realign Spine, you will get the best chiropractic services at the most affordable prices. We deal with multiple problems such as sciatica, herniated disc, text neck, scoliosis, tendonitis, and many more.

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