Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab we deal with many different ailments, pains and injuries every day. One of the most common conditions that we see is tendinitis. This condition can affect anybody from athletes and labor workers to stay at home moms. Tendinitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon. A tendon is a thick cord that connects bone to muscle. Some of the most common places to get tendinitis are in the muscles that are contracting over and over in repeated motions such as elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and the base of the thumb.
Since tendinitis is caused by constant repetitive motions by your tendons, examples of this can be; gardening, cleaning the house, painting, scrubbing motions, tennis, and golf. Although these activities aren’t necessarily causing you pain while you are performing them, the small motions can cause your muscles to get inflamed. Tendinitis can also appear if you are doing a task that your body isn’t used to doing. If you only scrub your floors once a month, your forearm and elbow are not accustomed to the motions, therefore they can become irritated.
As you get older, your muscles and tendons aren’t able to take as much stress as they once were. Tasks that used to be no problem can turn into a painful affair. Your tendons also become less elastic and can tear much easier than in your youth. The symptoms of tendinitis are caused because of the stress on your tendons. These symptoms include pain (generally the next day or within a few hours from the activity that caused it), possible inflammation of the entire affected area, loss of motion and an aching feeling.
There are a few things you can try at home to cure your tendinitis if your pain isn’t unbearable. Make sure that you are resting your injury and avoiding activities that could further the problem. Be sure to also ice the area on the day of the injury for 10-15 minutes at a time until the area is numb. Icing your inflamed tendon can help reduce swelling faster. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful as advised by your primary care physician to reduce inflammation. If you continue on your regular day to day activities that could have caused the tendinitis, you are risking creating an ongoing problem. Chronic tendinitis happens when you are feeling symptoms of an inflamed tendon but take no time to rest or treat your pain, which can cause prolonged pain.
If at home treatment is not helping your condition, call us here at OSR and set up an appointment. Our medical team may prescribe you with tendon steroid injections in order to reduce the inflammation of the tendon. In cases when the injections aren’t working, our physical therapists will provide you with exercises and stretches and modalities that can help your condition. One example of a more extreme tendinitis is frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder is one case that is rarely cured without the help of a physical therapist. Our PT team will help you with range of motion exercises as well as giving you exercises and stretches at home that can help ease your pain and get your tendons back to fully functional.
If you think you’re suffering from tendinitis, call our office in Kailua 808-488-5555 and make an appointment with our physical therapists and medical team. If your tendinitis has led to a fever, or inability to move at all, be sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible.