Tendonitis / Tendonosis
What Is Tendonitis, also called Tendonosis?
Tendons are tough, flexible, fibrous bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. When tendons become inflamed, irritated, or suffer microscopic tears, the condition is called tendonitis. Tendons can be small, like the delicate, tiny bands in the hands, or large, like the heavy, rope-like cords that anchor the calf or thigh muscles. In most cases, the cause of tendonitis is unknown; when a cause can be identified, the condition usually happens for one of two reasons:
Overuse – A particular body motion is repeated too often.
Overload – The level of a certain activity, such as weightlifting, is increased too quickly.
Tendonitis is most common in the shoulder, elbow, knee, wrist and heel, although it can happen anywhere that tendons are found in the body. For uncertain reasons, tendonitis is also common in people with diabetes.
Tendonitis in the shoulder – The most common form of tendonitis in the shoulder is rotator cuff tendonitis. It involves the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle, which attaches to the upper portion of the upper arm bone at the shoulder joint. Less commonly, the tendon of the infraspinatus muscle or other tendons of the rotator cuff is affected. In most cases, the supraspinatus tendon is injured by overuse, typically in an occupation or sport that requires the arm to be elevated repeatedly. People at risk include carpenters, painters, welders, swimmers, tennis players and baseball players. The average patient is a male tradesman, older than 40, and the shoulder pain is on the same side as his dominant hand (for example, right shoulder pain in a right-handed person).
Tendonitis in the elbow – Two forms of tendonitis commonly involve the elbow: lateral epicondylitis and medial epicondylitis. Both are very common overuse injuries among athletes involved in throwing and racquet sports, such as tennis. Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) causes pain on the outer side of the elbow joint. This condition probably affects 40% to 50% of all adult athletes who play racquet sports. It also can be caused by any activity that repeatedly twists and flexes the wrist, such as pulling weeds, using a screwdriver, painting, or even carrying a briefcase.
Tendonitis in the knee – Jumper's knee, the most common form of knee tendonitis, involves either the patellar tendon at the lower edge of the kneecap or the quadriceps tendon at the upper edge of the kneecap. It is a common overuse injury, especially in basketball players and distance runners.
Tendonitis in the wrist – In the wrist, tendonitis commonly appears in the form of de Quervain's disease, a condition that causes pain in the back of the wrist at the base of the thumb. Although de Quervain's disease usually occurs in people who repeatedly grasp or pinch with the thumb, it sometimes develops during pregnancy or for no known reason.
Achilles tendonitis – This form of tendonitis affects the Achilles tendon, the large ropelike tendon attached to the heel bone at the back of the foot. Achilles tendonitis usually is caused by overuse, especially in sports that require running or repeated jumping, and it accounts for 15% of all running injuries. Achilles tendonitis also may be related to faulty running technique or to poorly fitting shoes, if the back of the shoe digs into the Achilles tendon above the heel. Less often, Achilles tendonitis is related to an inflammatory illness, such as ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
In general, tendonitis causes pain in the tissues surrounding a joint, especially after the joint is used too much during play or work. In some cases, the joint may feel weak, and the area may be red, swollen and warm to the touch.
Pain symptoms vary, according to which tendon is affected:
Rotator cuff tendonitis – Usually dull, aching shoulder pain that can't be tied to one location. It often radiates into the upper arm toward the chest. The pain is often worse at night and may interfere with sleep.
Tennis elbow – Pain in the outer side of the elbow. In some cases, the painful area extends down to the forearm and wrist
Golfer's elbow – Pain in the inner side of the elbow
Jumper's knee – Pain below the kneecap and, sometimes, above it
De Quervain's disease – Pain at the back of the wrist, near the base of the thumb
Achilles tendonitis – Pain at the back of the heel or 2 to 4 inches above the heel
Tendonitis responds very well to P-DTR and can be resolved by it in almost all cases. I also use Trigger Point Therapy, especially with Tennis and Golf Elbow. If your tendonitis occurs as part of repetitive movement that is caused by your profession or other ongoing movement, I strongly recommend a maintenance program as it is likely that you will re-injure yourself, making further treatment necessary.