Common Forms of Tendinitis: A Quick Guide
A tendon is a cord-like material that attaches muscle to bone. When a you flex a muscle the tendon pulls on the bone and movement is achieved. On occasion a tendon is asked to do too much and breaks down resulting in pain and inflammation. This condition is known as “tendinitis” and it afflicts millions of people each year. It is not often serious although significant rest may be required to make a full and effective recovery, depending on the tendon in question. (Find out here if you are eligible for disability tax credit if you suffer from tendinitis).
For the purposes of this article we’re going to confine the discussion to the most common forms of the condition and its causes but it should be noted that, while tendinitis most often results from repetitive stress, that is not the only possible cause. Some other possible triggers include:
- Poor Posture
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Skeletal Deformities
- Medical Side Effects
Because it most often involves the inflammation of a joint, tendinitis is sometimes mistaken for arthritis and vice versa. Therefore it is important to get a proper medical diagnosis before embarking on a treatment regimen.
Most Commonly Diagnosed Forms of Tendinitis
Although any tendon in the body is a candidate for developing the condition it is most common in the tendons around the elbows, shoulders, knees and wrists. And while any person is a possible candidate to be afflicted, the fact is that athletes and others who are physically active are far more likely to develop the condition than those who are physically inactive. With that in mind here is a list of some of the more common forms of tendinitis.
- Shoulder – Baseball pitchers commonly develop tendon problems in their shoulder by lifting their arms above their head hundreds of times a day in the normal course of executing their pitching motion. The motion looks harmless enough on television but puts enormous stress on the tendons of the shoulder. Swimmers are also common sufferers of this form of tendon disorder as are carpenters, weight lifters and steel workers.
- Elbow – Commonly referred to as ‘tennis elbow’, this form of the condition is caused by repetitive stress on the muscles of the lower arm resulting in inflammation of the tendons that attach forearm muscles to the elbow. Tennis players, golfers and even arm wrestlers are prone to developing “tennis elbow” which can often lead to prolonged periods of inactivity for them.
- Patellar – The patellar tendon connects your kneecap to your shin. People who do a lot of jumping (athletes, cheerleaders, dancers) are susceptible to overworking the patellar tendon and developing problems in the knee joint. When it manifests in the knee the condition can require extensive physical therapy since so much of the body’s load bearing responsibility resides there.
- Achilles – The achilles tendon is of legendary importance due to its size, strength and the enormously important role it plays in keeping us upright and active. Achilles injuries have ended the careers of many famous athletes and many others have had difficult times returning to 100% effectiveness after an achilles injury. Achilles tendinitis, while not as serious as an achilles tear, can nonetheless require months of rehabilitation. Men in their 40s are common victims of this type of injury as they try to relive their glory years on the basketball or tennis court and put too much strain on the tendon in the process.
Treatment for Tendinitis
In younger people it is likely that the condition will go away on its own given adequate rest and time. With most other people however, some form of treatment plan will likely be called for in order to restore proper mobility and prevent a recurrence of the condition. Common treatment options include:
- Rest – Nearly every case in nearly every person will require removing the stress that caused the inflammation from the affected tendon. Translation: rest. Failing to give an overused tendon the rest it needs can result in the condition becoming chronic and leading to other, more serious injuries down the road.
- OTC Pain Relief – In most cases a common over the counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen should suffice in providing relief from pain and swelling. In more serious cases however, your doctor may recommend something stronger.
- Physical Therapy – In some cases you may require physical therapy in order to facilitate proper healing. This process may include ultrasound, swimming to rebuild strength and motion, orthotics, targeted exercise and modifications to the way you carry out certain activities.
- Splints or Supportive Devices – Occasionally your doctor may recommend you wear a brace or splint of some kind to provide extra support to an affected area in order to ensure proper healing and reduce associated pain.
- Hot/Cold Therapy – The application of a cold compress is often an effective way to relieve pain and swelling during the early period of recovery. As the process unfolds, however, you may find it more useful to apply heat to the affected region.
- Steroid Injections – In extreme cases it may be necessary to inject corticosteroids directly into the affected joint to affect relief and promote proper healing.
With adequate rest and minimal treatment most cases of tendinitis will fully resolve. More severe cases however, may require you to seek the services of an orthopaedic specialist or physical therapist or both. If that is the case it is important to adhere rigorously to any treatment regimen that may be suggested in order to stave off long term damage or disability.
Tendinitis, though not life-threatening, can nonetheless interfere with your ability to provide for yourself and your family by requiring lengthy periods of inactivity to facilitate healing. If this has happened to you, you may be eligible for up to $40,000 disability tax credit from the Canadian government.
The disability tax credit program was instituted to help people just like you overcome the financial strain that can accompany a disabling disease or injury. Call Disability Credit Canada today and let us help you claim this important benefit.
Our number is 1-855-765-4458 and the call is toll free. So don’t delay, call now.