When a tendon is inflamed, usually from overuse, tendinitis (or tendonitis) is the result. It’s common in sports injuries as well as a repetitive stress injury on the job. Tendons are found throughout the body. The connective tissue links bone to muscle, and have many similarities to ligaments (which join bone to bone).
However, there are some areas of the body especially prone to tendinitis including the finger, wrist, elbow, and thigh. One of the most well-known tendons is the Achilles tendon, which can also be prone to tendinitis. Jumper’s knee, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and pitcher’s shoulder are nicknames for specific types of tendinitis usually caused by practicing a sport.
Anyone can suffer from tendinitis, but it most commonly occurs in athletes and older adults. Tendons naturally get weaker with age. There’s also tendinosis, which is similar to tendinitis, but is long-term, chronic, and degenerative. Tendinitis, on the other hand, features acute pain and is centralized. Of the two, tendinitis is faster and easier to treat—sometimes permanently.
Treatment is important, otherwise tendinitis can lead to a ruptured tendon and even surgery. At Mend Clinic, the Salem orthopedic urgent care clinic, all types of tendinitis are treated. However, there are three types of tendinitis that are most common:
The inflammation of the tendon on the outer side of the elbow that runs to the wrist is called lateral epicondylitis, or more commonly “tennis elbow.” There’s also medial epicondylitis, which is the inflammation of the tendon on the inside of the elbow and more common in golfers (golfer’s elbow). Treatment for tennis elbow may include rest, injections, and pain relievers.
The tendinous sheath around the thumb, particularly between thumb and wrist, is commonly inflamed. When it becomes swollen, it can be difficult and painful to move. De Quervain’s a common repetitive stress, work-related injury and can be helped with steroid injections into the joint to help alleviate swelling and pain, split for support, and of course ice and rest.
If your finger or thumb makes a clicking sound when you straighten it, that’s a common sign of “trigger finger.” This type of tendinitis traps the finger or thumb in a bent position because the tendons in the palm are so thickened that movement is obscured. In some cases, you might notice a small bump in the palm. Trigger finger treatment varies depending on its severity and duration and may include anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, and surgery.
At Mend Clinic, your Salem orthopedic team knows how painful tendinitis can be. Pain with movement, the feeling that a tendon is grating or cracking, swelling, redness and heat, and even lumps are all signs of tendinitis. Fortunately, tendinitis can be easily treated before a rupture occurs and treatments performed at Mend Clinic include a variety of injections and splints designed to immobilize, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain. Learn more about types of orthopedic injuries we treat, read reviews, and see why patients choose Mend Clinic as their ER alternative in Salem, Oregon. Book your appointment online, walk-in, or call (971) 204-8410.