Tendonitis, also spelled as tendinitis, refers to inflammation or irritation of a tendon, which is a thick cord-like structure that attaches muscle to bone. Tendonitis commonly occurs in areas subjected to repetitive movements or overuse, such as the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. Here's an overview of tendonitis:

1. Causes: Tendonitis can result from various factors, including:
  • Repetitive Movements: Activities that involve repetitive motions or overuse of specific muscles and tendons, such as sports, manual labor, or typing, can strain the tendons and lead to inflammation.
  • Poor Technique: Incorrect form or biomechanics during physical activities can increase the risk of tendonitis by placing excessive stress on the tendons.
  • Aging: Tendons become less flexible and resilient with age, making them more prone to injury and inflammation.
  • Poor Conditioning: Weak or imbalanced muscles, inadequate warm-up or stretching, and sudden increases in activity intensity or duration can contribute to tendonitis.

2. Symptoms: Common symptoms of tendonitis may include:
  • Pain, tenderness, or swelling near the affected tendon.
  • Pain that worsens with movement or activity, especially the specific movements that stress the affected tendon.
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the affected joint.
  • Weakness or loss of strength in the affected muscle.

3. Types: Tendonitis can affect various tendons in the body. Some common types of tendonitis include:
  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Tendonitis of the tendons on the outside of the elbow, typically due to repetitive wrist and arm movements.
  • Golfer's Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): Tendonitis of the tendons on the inside of the elbow, often caused by repetitive gripping and wrist flexion.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: Tendonitis of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, commonly seen in runners and athletes who engage in jumping or running activities.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Tendonitis of the tendons that attach the muscles of the rotator cuff to the shoulder joint, often due to overhead activities or repetitive arm movements.

4. Diagnosis: Diagnosis of tendonitis typically involves a physical examination, review of medical history, and imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasound, or MRI to assess the extent of inflammation and rule out other potential causes of symptoms.

5. Treatment: Treatment for tendonitis aims to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Common treatment options may include:
  • Rest and Activity Modification: Avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms and allowing the affected tendon to rest and heal.
  • Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Pain Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Stretching, strengthening, and therapeutic exercises prescribed by a physical therapist can improve flexibility, strength, and biomechanics, and promote healing.
  • Orthotics or Bracing: Using supportive devices such as orthotic inserts or braces can help reduce stress on the affected tendon and promote proper alignment and healing.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: Injections of corticosteroids into the affected tendon can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief, but they should be used judiciously due to potential side effects and risk of tendon weakening.
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: PRP injections involve injecting a concentrated solution of platelets derived from the patient's blood into the affected tendon to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT): ESWT uses high-energy shock waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in the affected tendon.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of tendonitis that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgical intervention such as tendon debridement, tendon repair, or tendon release may be necessary to alleviate symptoms and restore function.

It's important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis if you're experiencing symptoms of tendonitis. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause, severity of symptoms, and individual factors. With appropriate treatment and rehabilitation, most cases of tendonitis can be successfully managed, and individuals can return to their normal activities with improved function and reduced pain.