What Is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick, fibrous cord that attaches bone to muscle. While inflammation can occur in any of the tendons in the body, it is more likely to develop in the knees, elbows, heels, and wrists. Tendinitis can also be known by various names such as Achilles tendinitis, golfers elbow, pitcher’s shoulder, or patellar tendinitis, which are designated based on the location of the inflammation.

Symptoms of Tendinitis

Symptoms and signs of tendinitis often include pain and tenderness in the affected area that is exacerbated by repeated movement. The tendon’s inflammation occurs gradually and worsens over time, with pain levels ranging from mild to severe. Other symptoms of tendinitis also include:

  • Swelling
  • Dull aching
  • Reduced mobility
  • Tightness

Causes of Tendinitis

While it can occur as the result of a sudden injury, tendinitis is more commonly caused by repeated, consistent movements and minor impacts on the affected area. Due to the nature of their work, athletes, construction workers, gardeners, and cleaning staff are more likely to develop tendinitis. Other risk factors and causes include:

  • Inflammatory conditions:

    Conditions that cause inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disorders, can cause swelling to the tendons and ligaments.

  • Age:

    As we age, our tendons and ligaments become less flexible, making them more prone to injury and inflammation.

  • Trauma:

    Physical trauma and injuries that often result from accidents can also damage and even rupture our tendons.

  • Infections:

    While less common, infections, especially near the hands and fingers, can result in the tendons’ inflammation, leading to tendinitis.

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Tendinitis Diagnosis & Treatment

During your visit, a physician will perform a thorough physical examination and will carefully review your symptoms, family, and medical history. In order to you rule out any other possible causes for your symptoms, your doctor may order blood work, x-rays of the affected area, MRI scans, and ultrasounds. Once a successful diagnosis has been reached, an interventional pain specialist will recommend the best treatment for you. Milder cases of tendinitis tend to improve simply by resting and applying heat or cold therapy. More severe cases may be treated through one or more of the following:


  • Over the counter pain killers
  • Prescription medications
  • Compression bandages
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Stem cell injections

If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of tendinitis, we encourage you to reach out to our team today. Our expert interventional pain specialists would be happy to answer any questions you may have and address any concerns. We can also help plan the best course of action to treat your pain successfully.

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