Tendonitis Pain Management in Knoxville, TNAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70,000 Americans per year miss work due to tendonitis – an inflammation of a tendon. This condition causes painful symptoms that can keep you from playing sports or doing housework. There are many types of tendonitis that have different names but are essentially the same disorder occurring in different parts of the body. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms and classification of this condition, explore the available treatment options for tendonitis in Knoxville, and learn about the ways to prevent this disorder from developing in the first place.
What is tendonitis?Tendons are thick cable-like bridges that connect the muscles to the bones and help move the joints in the arms and legs. They are made from strong collagen fiber and are able to withstand the stresses of muscle contraction. However, sometimes tendons can get irritated and inflamed, leading to a painful condition called tendonitis. Tendonitis can develop in any tendon of the body but it most frequently occurs in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. Here are a few most common types of tendonitis, some of which have their own names:
- Swimmer’s shoulder is tendonitis that affects a group of tendons called the rotator cuff in the shoulder joint
- Golfer’s elbow is an inflammation of the tendon on the inside of the elbow
- Tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendon on the outside of the elbow
- de Quervain’s syndrome is tendonitis of the wrist
- Jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis, affects the tendon that connects the bottom of the kneecap to the shin bone and helps straighten the knee.
- Achilles tendonitis affects the body’s strongest, largest tendon at the back of the ankle and heel which helps people walk, run, and jump.
What causes tendonitis?Although tendonitis can occur as a result of a sudden injury, it is usually caused by overuse of the tendon from repetitive motion or strenuous exercise. It is more likely to develop if the motion or exercise is done incorrectly, as improper technique can overload the tendon. Athletes (especially golf players, tennis players, and runners) and people whose jobs or hobbies involve repetitive motions (plumbers, carpenters, painters) are at a higher risk of getting tendonitis. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, can make people more susceptible to tendon inflammation. Some studies have shown that certain types of medication can increase the incidence of tendonitis among the patients taking them.
How common is tendonitis?Tendon disorders are a common medical complaint, accounting for a third of all orthopedic consultations. According to a 2019 review published in the Medicina journal, they are especially common in sports, affecting 30% of runners, 12% of basketball players, and 2.5% of soccer players. As we age, our tendons get weaker and less flexible, which is why tendonitis is more common in adults over 40 years old.
What are the main symptoms?The main symptom of tendonitis is pain in the affected area, which is exacerbated by movement or touch. Other symptoms include tightness in the joint, swelling, redness, and a grating sensation during movement. The difference between tendonitis and muscle strain symptoms is that tendonitis pain is usually limited to the area where the tendon connects to the bone rather than the entire muscle, although in some cases of elbow tendonitis the pain might radiate to the forearm and wrist.
How is it diagnosed?Tendonitis is typically diagnosed from the patient’s medical history, symptoms description, and a physical exam. The Knoxville tendonitis specialist will inspect the affected area for swelling, gently press on it to check for tenderness, and test the range of motion. The imaging tests are not typically necessary for tendonitis diagnosis but in long-term or chronic cases Knoxville doctors might perform an ultrasound to check for structural changes in the tendon.
How to treat tendonitis?Tendonitis usually gets better over time, with most episodes improving within 2-3 weeks, but in more severe cases, recovery might take a few months. Treatment normally consists of pain management methods, such as:
- Rest from the activity that caused the condition
- Over-the-counter pain relief medication, for example, Ibuprofen or Naproxen
- Ice packs to reduce the swelling
- Hot compresses to ease the pain
- Physical therapy and specific exercises to improve the tendon’s flexibility and build strength
- Steroid injections that provide pain relief by delivering a combination of anti-inflammatory corticosteroid and a local anesthetic directly to the problematic area
- Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections to speed up recovery by delivering concentrated healing proteins from the patient’s own plasma to the affected joint
- Hyaluronic acid injections to provide natural lubrication to the joint and the tendon
- Supports, such as braces or cane, to take the pressure off the joint
How to prevent tendonitis?Even though it’s not always possible to completely avoid tendonitis, there are some steps that you can take to minimize the risks:
- Warm up your muscles before exercising
- Take regular rests when using repetitive motions of your joints
- Make sure you use proper technique when playing sports or exercising
- Stretch and strengthen your muscles and tendons to help them better withstand stress.
ConclusionTendonitis is a painful and debilitating condition that can prevent you from doing sports, your hobbies, or your job. It is caused by an inflammation in the tendons that have been overwhelmed by an injury, strenuous activity, or repetitive motion. This disease most commonly affects the shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles. There are treatment options available that can help manage the pain until the tendon recovers. Long-term or chronic tendonitis requires additional medical care to prevent complications, such as structural changes in the tendon or tendon rupture. If your painful tendon doesn’t seem to be getting better, contacting your doctor will help you relieve the pain and accelerate recovery.
Treatment for tendonitis in Knoxville, TNTendonitis condition is often chronic which means you need a pain management plan in place personalized to suit you. Our Knoxville tendonitis specialist at Omega Pain Management will create a plan to help you work through the pain and ultimately make your life much more comfortable and productive. We provide you with the confidence and know-how to make sure you smile again pain-free. Contact Omega Pain Management, one of the leading pain clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, today for your immediate assessment and get back to focusing on what makes you happy, minus the pain! Call 865-337-5137 today! Click on the following links if you want to find out more about Dr. Igor Smelyansky and Omega Pain Management Clinic.
Loiacono C, Palermi S, Massa B, Belviso I, Romano V, Gregorio AD, Sirico F, Sacco AM. Tendinopathy: Pathophysiology, Therapeutic Options, and Role of Nutraceutics. A Narrative Literature Review. Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Aug 7;55(8):447. doi: 10.3390/medicina55080447. PMID: 31394838; PMCID: PMC6723894.