Tendinitis

Tendinitis is swelling and inflammation of the tendons. Tendons are band-like tissues that connect muscle to bone. Tendinitis commonly occurs in the:

  • Shoulders (rotator cuff).

  • Heels (Achilles tendon).

  • Elbows (triceps tendon).

CAUSES

Tendinitis is usually caused by overusing the tendon, muscles, and joints involved. When the tissue surrounding a tendon (synovium) becomes inflamed, it is called tenosynovitis. Tendinitis commonly develops in people whose jobs require repetitive motions.

SYMPTOMS

  • Pain.

  • Tenderness.

  • Mild swelling.

DIAGNOSIS

Tendinitis is usually diagnosed by physical exam. Your caregiver may also order X-rays or other imaging tests.

TREATMENT

Your caregiver may recommend certain medicines or exercises for your treatment.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Use a sling or splint for as long as directed by your caregiver until the pain decreases.

  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.

  • Avoid using the limb while the tendon is painful. Perform gentle range of motion exercises only as directed by your caregiver. Stop exercises if pain or discomfort increase, unless directed otherwise by your caregiver.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your pain and swelling increase.

  • You develop new, unexplained symptoms, especially increased numbness in the hands.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.