Tendonitis

Any time one of the fibrous cords attaching the muscles and bones together is irritated or inflamed it is known as tendonitis. Tendonitis may come in many forms including Achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, foot tendonitis, knee tendonitis, hamstring tendonitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, and many more. This condition can cause tenderness and pain near the joint it helps support and can affect any of the tendons in the body, but is most common in the joints of the heels, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and knees. When tendonitis becomes severe it may lead to the tendon actually being torn or rupturing, often times leaving surgery as the only option. If this condition is caught early however it can usually be treated with rest and over the counter medications, however consulting a doctor is still recommended to ensure that nothing is critically damaged, and to find out the cause of the tendonitis to stop it from recurring.

Picture of Tendons

colorado foot institute tendonitis / tendon injury

Symptoms of Tendonitis

Aggravated by the movement of surrounding joints, tendonitis is associated with the following symptoms; pain, tenderness, and mild swelling in certain cases. The types of tendonitis can be differentiated by where the pain is derived from. Tendonitis symptoms include:

  • Achilles tendonitis causes pain just above your heal.
  • Adductor tendonitis causes pains around the groin area
  • Tennis elbow causes sharp pains while trying to grip something or while swinging the arm over your head
  • Golf elbow creates sharp pains on the inside of the elbow
  • Patellar tendonitis causes pain below the kneecap
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis causes shoulder pain

The wear and tear, aging, inflammatory disease or a direct injury to the tendon which line the joints can causes these forms of tendonitis. However, the most common cause is over use of the tendon whether it is from exercise, sports, or work. The pain results from small tears in the tendons, causing the area to become irritated and inflamed.

Tendonitis Treatment

Not all cases require the attention of a doctor; however if you do experience pain in a joint that causes normal activities to difficult or if the soreness doesn’t improve with rest you should consult a doctor immediately. If you have an infection in the area you should seek medical attention as well, symptoms of this will include a fever and redness as well as swelling of the area. The goal of treating tendonitis is to relieve the pain as well as reduce any inflammation of the area. In mild cases that are treated early on ice, rest and over the counter pain relievers might be enough to heal the tendons. In more serious cases however a doctor may recommend corticosteroid medication which reduces the pain and inflammation of the tendon, physical therapy to strengthen muscles around the tendon to take pressure off the tendon and increase the amount of force the tendon and muscles in that area can absorb and in some cases surgery. Surgery is normally only needed when a full tear or rupture occurs in the tendon. Often surgery can reinforce , repair the tendon and restore full function to the joint.

Risk factors of tendonitis

Risk factors include over exercise, obesity, improper technique, improper support of shoes, or the repetitive use of a joint. The more time you spend doing high impact activities the larger your chances are for developing tendonitis. However there are ways to lower your risks.

Steps to preventing tendonitis

There are many easy steps you can take to reduce your chance of developing all types of tendonitis. Any activity that places excess stress or pressure on your tendons should be done in moderate amounts, prolonged high-impact activities is a leading cause of tendonitis. Cross training is another step you can take, using different areas of your body to work out; instead of constantly running or jogging, substitute swimming or bike ridding for half your workout. Remembering to stretch before you workout as well as using proper techniques will cause less damage in the joints and tendons. One of the easiest and often overlooked prevention is wearing the proper shoes. Shoes that give support and evenly distribute impact over the entire sole of the foot will reduce the occurrence of Achilles tendonitis greatly. Finally, strengthen the muscles around joints you use the most during work and exercise, this will take pressure off the tendon and joint areas, allowing for more stress to be withstood.

Let Us Help You

Dr. Mechanik is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Board Certified in Reconstructive Rearfoot and Ankle Surgery. He has the medical and surgical skills to treat your foot conditions. He and his family are natives of the Denver area.

Dr. Mechanik received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from the the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine which is part of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a national leader in medical education.

Dr. Mechanik then went on to complete a twenty-four month post-graduate Residency training program in Foot and Ankle Surgery and twenty-four months surgical Fellowship training program in Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Surgery.

Dr. Mechanik is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and a  Diplomate, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.  y.

With his expertise in foot care, Dr. Mechanik can help you resolve your feet problems, that inhibits your mobility or daily activities. He and his family are natives of the Denver area. You can schedule an appointment by calling our office at 303-333-3383.