Many of us have had at one time or another some sort of muscular pain in our lives. Previously we talked about how over exertion or begining a new exercise program can lead to some muscle soreness. But I'm willing to bet many of you have had muslce soreness that may not have been associated with a particular event. You may have even went to see a doctor about it and he/she said that you had tendonitis of some body part - for instance shoulder tendonitis or ankle tendonitis etc.
What is tendonitis? The answer seems very simple if you break down the word: TENDON - the end of a muscle that connects the muscle to a bone. ITIS - inflammation. Put it back together and we have inflammation of a tendon.
In practical terms what does that mean to us? Typically tendonitis will cause the muscle to be sore to the touch. In addition, it will be sore if you contract or use the sore muscle/tendon. The case we talked about last week -tennis elbow- would be an example of a tendonitis. You may also notice some swelling around the sore area as well. These would be the classic signs and syptoms of tendonitis.
Once you have tendonitis, the issue becomes how do you get rid of tendonitis. We discussed resting and use of ice on a new injury, and that applies for tendonitis as well. Many times that is not enough. Ultimately its important to identify the cause of the tendon irritation so you can effectively treat it. Sometimes it can be due to direct trauma such as a fall but the majority of the times the pain comes on without an obvious reson. Many times it is a combination of less obvious physical factors that when added up can cause tendonitis. It then becomes my job, as a physical therapist to figure out those specific factors through a musculoskeletal exam. The good news is that with treatment tendonitis can, and should, resolve completely.
Next week we are going to change gears and talk about exercise and diabetes, but stay tuned because tendonitis, and its ugly cousin tendonosis, will be popping up on this blog again.
I also have a good video newsletter for the month of June up on my website that goes over proper warm-up routines for exercise.
Comments and questions are encouraged!
Yours in health,
Chris Ostling PT, DPT