by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
A tendon is a tough yet flexible band of fibrous tissue. It connects muscles to bones.
Muscles are responsible for moving bones. When a muscle contracts it pulls on a bone leading to movement.
The most common tendon areas that become injured are the elbow, wrist, biceps, shoulder (including rotator cuff attachments), leg, knee (patellar), ankle, hip, and Achilles.
Most tendons run inside a sheath lined with synovium, the same tissue that lines joints. Inflammation of this sheath can cause an entrapment of the tendon... an example being a condition like trigger finger. This is a form of tendonitis or tenosynovitis.
Other tendons don't have a synovial sheath. These tendons can become worn and degenerated due to overuse. This condition is referred to as tendinosis. For example, an individual beginning an exercise program, or increasing their level of exercise, might begin to get symptoms of tendinosis.
Another common cause of tendonitis/tendinosis is age-related changes in the tendon. As people age, the tendons lose their elasticity and ability to glide as smoothly as they used to. With increasing age, individuals are more prone to get symptoms of tendonitis.
Tendonitis treatment should start by avoiding movements that brought the condition on in the first place. This is a necessary step to get the inflamed tendon to heal. It is also recommended to vary activities; for example, if you are a runner who is experiencing knee pain due to tendonitis, try incorporating swimming into your workout schedule.
Inflammation can also be treated with some medications, including the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These medications can be very helpful treatments both in relief of pain and in reduction of the inflammation.
Side effects of these medications can include stomach upset, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney and heart problems. Other possible medications to use are steroid injections between the sheath and the tendon. Tendons should never be directly injected with steroid since this weakens the tendon. All injections should be administered using ultrasound guidance.
Other means of tendonitis/tendinosis treatment include icing the injured site, ultrasound therapy, and alternative treatments. Working to stretch and strengthen muscles in the area of the tendonitis can be helpful, and a physical therapist may have other ideas to help with your situation.
One way to avoid problems such as tendonitis and bursitis is to slowly increase the intensity of exercise, vary the types of activities performed.
A new method of treating tendonitis, using needle tenotomy and platelet rich plasma with ultrasound guidance is very effective and often prevents the need for surgery. At out center, we're getting a ninety per cent response rate with this form of treatment.
For more information about tendonitis, visit our sister site:
Arthritis Treatment Center The Arthritis Treatment Center is one of the most innovative and progressive arthritis centers on the East Coast. Learn more about how to get tendonitis relief using the most up-to-date methods.
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