Feeling pain in one of your joints? Could it be tendonitis? Also known as Tendinitis, Tendonitis is a condition caused by the inflammation of tissues that connects muscles to bones. In most cases, tendonitis results from preventable injuries.
When there’s muscle contraction due to too much pressure on the joint, tendons respond, bringing about bone movement. According to the American College of Rheumatology, when you put too much stress on joints, they can tear and inflame tendons. If the damage is slight the tissue will quickly fix itself but if joint stress happens often the pain is likely to become constant.
Factors that contribute to tendonitis include:
- Violent or forceful movement such as tossing a fastball
- Unnatural movements e.g. serving a tennis ball
- Poor body mechanics or techniques when engaging in activities such as weight lifting, ceiling painting, and aerobics
- overdoing activities when the body is out of shape
Types of tendonitis
- Acute tendonitis – characterized by sharper pain that keeps you from moving the joint. The pain might go away eventually, but probably return if the motion causing stress is repeated
- Chronic tendonitis – characterized by a dull constant soreness that worsens when you start to move but lessens as the muscles get warm.
Tendonitis treatment revolves around relieving pain and reducing inflammation. When you make an appointment with your healthcare provider for tendonitis treatment, there is a likelihood that they will recommend the definitive RICE treatment to relieve your pain.
The RICE treatment entails: Resting the inflamed joint, applying ice on the a sore tendon, compressing the inflamed joint with an elastic band to relieve inflammation and soreness and finally, elevating the joint to ease soreness.
Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin meant to help ease the discomfort caused by tendonitis or administer an injection with corticosteroids medication around the tendon to soothe the tendinitis.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment to treat your tendon. In instances where physical therapy doesn’t produce the required results, your physician may recommend surgery and other procedures such as dry needling and ultrasound to treat tendonitis.
Depending on the advice your physician gives you, you can start stretching muscles around the tendon within two to three days after treatment, and gradually start exercising the tendon itself. When working out, begin with a lengthy warm-up stretch and try weight lifting or use an elastic exercise band.
Preventing tendonitis means practicing a healthy workout. This is only possible if you vary your exercises and stretch all the tendons and muscles you intend to exercise. During your workout session, start with a thorough warm-up (5-10 minutes) and slowly build on the momentum. Make sure to cool down after the workout session.
Before you start practicing a new sport, take time to train so as to build muscle strength and flexibility. Furthermore, ensure you are practicing correctly, using the right equipment, and avoid repetitive use of a single joint.