Tendonitis is a condition which results in a tendon (the long, fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones) becoming inflamed. This condition is often caused by repetitive forms of exercise, such as tennis and running. Some of the most common symptoms associated with tendonitis include swelling and pain around the affected tendon and a grating sensation when the tendon is moved. Most sufferers also find it very difficult to move the body part in which the tendon is located.
Mild cases of tendonitis can usually be treated without the assistance of a medical professional. A person with a mild form of this condition should rest the affected tendon for at least three or four days, so as not to exacerbate the inflammation.
During this rest period, there are several things they can do to minimise the amount of swelling they experience at the site of the injury and to speed up their recovery. An ice-pack, for example, can be placed on the affected body part for about 15 minutes at a time. This will help to constrict the blood vessels around the tendon; this, in turn, will reduce the flow of blood to that area and thus help to reduce any swelling. Keeping the tendon area elevated can also prevent it from becoming severely swollen.
Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may be used to alleviate pain; the latter is slightly better than the former for this particular condition, as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Lastly, where possible, the affected body part should be splinted, to prevent the tendon from being irritated each time the person moves.
In instances where the above-mentioned self-help treatments do not alleviate a person's symptoms and they are in severe pain, it may be necessary for them to receive specialist treatment at a physiotherapy clinic.
Their physiotherapist may perform several different treatments to aid them in their recovery. These may include ultrasound therapy (where ultrasound waves are directed towards the injured tendon, in order to eliminate inflammation and break down any scar tissue that may have formed around it), soft tissue stretching, massage, and guided exercises designed to increase the patient's flexibility, strength and range of motion in the affected body part.
Additionally, in cases where the tendonitis is the result of repetitive types of exercise, the physiotherapist may also offer their patient advice on how to perform certain movements (such as, for example, swinging a tennis racket) in such a way that they do not damage their tendons again in the future.Share