What is Tendonitis?
You may have heard tendonitis referred to as tennis elbow, jumper’s knee or golfer’s elbow. Despite the many nicknames that the condition has acquired, they all signify excessive inflammation of a tendon, which is the structure that connects muscle to bone. It is typically caused by overuse of the affected area, often from a repetitive activity or in some cases by a minor trauma.
Signs of Tendonitis:
- Intermittent pain at the site of the tendon
- Pain during movement or extreme pain in severe cases
- Stiffness, swelling or tenderness at the site of the tendon
- In severe cases, redness and swelling at the site of the tendon
- Patients often report starting a new high-volume activity prior to the onset of pain
Typically, imaging is not needed to diagnose tendonitis. However, X-rays may be helpful in older patients to help differentiate between tendonitis and degenerative joint disease, which can present with similar symptoms. In more severe cases of tendonitis, weakness or limited motion may require an MRI to rule out a partial or complete tear of the tendon.
Treatment is initially focused on reducing pain. Rest, ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are common treatments, often tried by patients before seeing a doctor. However, a higher dose of oral or topical anti-inflammatories, braces and corticosteroid injections are typically prescribed at an initial visit with us. Once the pain is under control, our focus shifts to preventing the pain from coming back. Physical therapy, Active Release Technique and activity modifications are some ways that Jersey Shore Sports Medicine can help you prevent pain from returning – all without surgery!
Tendonitis that lasts longer than a few months can lead to chronic damage to the tendon, called tendinosis. Initial treatment is the same, but resolution of the symptoms often takes longer. If typical conservative treatments don’t do the trick, Jersey Shore Sports Medicine offers regenerative treatments, surgery-free, such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections and stem cell injections.
Tendonitis is a very common injury that can occur in active individuals. Early treatment is key to reducing pain and keeping you in tip-top shape! Have questions about tendonitis treatment or PRP? Chat with us on Facebook, Twitter, or give us a call at 609-904-2565.