What Is Tendinitis And Where Does It Come From?

Pain around your joints can range from unpleasant to debilitating. If you've noticed soreness or weakness in the areas around your joints, you may be experiencing tendinitis. This condition caused by damage to your tendons should be properly treated to prevent serious complications (via Mayo Clinic).

Tendons are thick ribbons of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Without them, our joints wouldn't work properly to help us move. When we suddenly start using new joints and muscles to do things like play a new sport, or we use them repetitively in the work that we do, we can damage that connective tissue. Small tears in the tendons, irritation, and inflammation may lead to pain in the area of the injury. 

Tendinitis commonly shows up in the shoulders, elbows, knees, and wrists. For example, tennis elbow is the name given to a type of tendinitis known as lateral epicondylitis (via Harvard Health Publishing). Health experts estimate that 40-50% of people who participate in racquet sports have tennis elbow.

Most common types of tendinitis can be treated

Achilles tendinitis and jumper's knee tend to be common injuries for runners that are caused by overuse. In fact, some 15% of running injuries are diagnosed as Achilles tendinitis (via Harvard Health Publishing). And rotator cuff tendinitis is a shoulder injury that is often experienced by those who work in trades like carpentry, welding, and painting, where a person has to lift their arm above their head constantly. Tendinitis can be diagnosed by looking at the type, location, and timeline of your pain. A doctor can examine you for signs of tendinitis, but sometimes more extensive testing is needed to make an accurate diagnosis.

The treatment for tendinitis really depends on the location and severity of the injury. Typically a doctor will suggest resting the affected area for an extended period of time to promote healing. Ice and anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used to help bring down swelling and pain. If the condition is severe, physical therapy may help alleviate your pain and prevent further injury. In extreme cases, severe tendinitis can even lead to tendon rupture (via Mayo Clinic). Pay attention to any new pain, tenderness, or swelling near your joints, and seek medical advice if it's persistent.