Tendonitis refers to pain and inflammation in your tendon. We look at the different types of tendonitis and how it can be treated.
Tendonitis is a familiar term used to describe pain and inflammation to any tendon. Tendinitis is also referred to as tendinopathy. As different muscles within the body have varied roles so do their respective tendons. Therefore, a single cause of tendonitis does not exist and is often related to the body area affected.
The achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone and has a spring like structure which provides efficiency, particularly during walking and running. Unaccustomed increases in these activities particularly for individuals who walk/run with excessive rolling in of the feet (over-pronation) may cause this condition.
Patellar tendonitis is also known as “jumper’s knee” as this tendon bears several times the bodyweight when landing. As this pseudonym suggests this condition is almost exclusively seen in sportsmen/sportswomen involved in athletics, basketball, netball and sometimes football.
Rotator cuff tendonitis
The tendons of the rotator cuff muscles which function to move the shoulder joints may suffer with pain and inflammation as a secondary consequence of age-related processes to the shoulder/s or due to being compressed repeatedly as the arm is lifted.
Tennis & golfer’s elbow
These conditions are named after their respective tasks due to the significant load each tendon undergoes performing these tasks. However, the most common cause of these conditions remains repetitive computer work with an incorrect ergonomic setup.
Pain is felt when the affected muscle and tendon is being placed under load. In most cases, the symptoms ease off after a few minutes of an aggravating activity and then return if the activity is prolonged.
In rare cases of severe pain from tendonitis, the affected limb may begin to feel weak with certain tasks.
However, a great number of patients do not get full resolution of their symptoms with these exercises. Fortunately, a growing number of orthopaedic treatments have emerged for tendinitis in recent years including:
- Injections of blood plasma (often termed platelet rich plasma injections or PRP injections)
- Shock wave therapy
- Surgery to resect the inflamed tendon tissue
For patients who have not found physiotherapy has enabled a return to normal function or sports, we offer appointments with expert consultant orthopaedic surgeons or sports medicine consultants at short notice. Under these circumstances, our consultants can best guide management following an expertly conducted physical examination and imaging, normally in the form of an ultrasound or MRI scan.
Blood plasma (which is taken from patients through a small blood test, filtered and stored in a lab before the injection) contains natural substances which encourages healing without any obvious negative effects.
Surgery involves identifying the exact location of pain and swelling to the tendon with a physical examination and diagnostic imaging. The swelling to this area is formed by an increase in micro blood vessels and calcific deposits. These pathological parts of the tendon are then resected leaving the healthy piece of tendon intact.
Specialists Offering Tendonitis
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