Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Tendinitis

Definition

Tendinitis is inflammation, irritation, and swelling of a tendon, which is the fibrous structure that joins muscle to bone. In many cases, tendinosis (tendon degeneration) is also present.

Alternative Names

Calcific tendinitis; Bicipital tendinitis

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Tendinitis can occur as a result of injury, overuse, or with aging as the tendon loses elasticity. It can also be seen in persons with body-wide (systemic) diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes.

Tendinitis can occur in any tendon, but some commonly affected sites include the:

Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness along a tendon, usually near a joint
  • Pain at night
  • Pain that is worse with movement or activity

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and look for signs of pain and tenderness when the muscle attached to the tendon is used against resistance. There are specific tests for specific tendons.

The tendon can be inflamed, and the overlying skin may be warm and red.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Rest or immobilization of the affected tendons is helpful for recovery. This may be achieved using a splint or a removable brace. The application of heat or cold to the affected area can help.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can also reduce both pain and inflammation. Steroid injections into the tendon sheath can also be very useful in controlling pain and allowing physical therapy to start.

Physical therapy that stretches and strengthens the muscle and tendon is essential. This can restore the tendon's ability to function properly, improve healing, and prevent future injury.

Rarely, surgery is needed to physically remove the inflammatory tissue from around the tendon.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Symptoms improve with treatment and rest. If the injury is caused by overuse, a change in work habits may be indicated to prevent recurrence of the problem.

Complications

  • Long-term inflammation raises the risk of further injury, such as rupture
  • Tendinitis symptoms return

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of tendinitis occur.

Prevention

  • Avoid repetitive motion and overuse of the arms and legs.
  • Keep all your muscles strong and flexible.
  • Warm up by exercising at a relaxed pace before engaging in vigorous activity.

References

Choi L. Overuse injuries. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 14.

Shea K, Edmonds EW, Chambers H. Skeletal trauma in young athletes. In: Green NE, Swiontkowski MF, eds. Skeletal Trauma in Children. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 20.

View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care Points
    Read More

    Review Date: 7/22/2010

    Review By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

    www.adam.com
    www.mercyweb.org
    follow us online
    facebook youtube


    Contact us
    Home  |  Sitemap

    Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
    Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011