Pain, soreness, redness, swelling. These are all-too-common orthopaedic symptoms of tendonitis, a chronic inflammatory condition seen by your sports medicine doctor in San Antonio. Do you know much about tendonitis? Let’s explore it and uncover some surprising causes of this overuse injury.
What is Tendonitis?
Tendons are tough bands or cords of body tissue that connect muscles and bones. These cords help you move properly and smoothly. For instance, your bicep muscle in the upper arm attaches to the radius bone in the forearm with a tendon.
When you overuse or injure a tendon, you experience pain, swelling, and limited motion in the affected body part. Physical examination and imaging at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine can reveal tendonitis and help our experts, Drs. Millican, Jones, and Skunda, formulate an effective treatment plan.
Are There Different Kinds of Tendonitis?
Yes, there are many different kinds of tendonitis. Besides bicep tendonitis, common examples include:
- Rotator cuff tendonitis, which causes pain in the shoulder and upper chest
- Jumper’s knee, characterized by pain behind the knee cap or patella
- DeQuervain’s disease, known for pain in the wrist near the thumb
- Tennis elbow, characterized by discomfort along the side of the forearm and elbow
- Golfer’s elbow, which causes pain in the inner part of the elbow joint
- Achilles tendonitis, which impacts the final three to four inches of the heel cord between the calf muscles and the heel bone
What Causes Tendonitis?
There are many causes for tendonitis, the most common of which is overuse. People typically develop this condition when exercising, playing a sport, or due to occupational duties and hobbies that require repetitive movements of the same nature. Another common cause is aging. The older you get, the more likely you are of developing tendonitis.
There are also other causes for tendonitis, and they are unrelated to occupation, sports, aging, and other common predisposing factors.
Here are just a few of the surprising causes:
Stress And Anxiety
Studies show that the stresses of daily life impact your body chemicals, such as adrenaline, and subsequently, your mood and joint health. Conversely, daily aerobic exercise, such as walking, releases endorphins, your natural “happy” chemicals, and anti-inflammatory agents.
Menopause And Pregnancy
Ask any woman going through these stages of life, and you may hear her complain of aching knees, hands, and back. Ligaments and tendons typically loosen during pregnancy and menopause. It is common to experience tendon stiffness and inflammation.
The CDC reports that 50 percent of people who seek treatment for joint pain, including tendonitis, are tobacco users. Nicotine in cigarettes appears to impede oxygen-rich circulation and slows the delivery of nutrients necessary for joint health.
The high blood glucose levels characteristic of diabetes commonly lead to frozen shoulder or rotator cuff tendonitis. While physicians and researchers cannot pinpoint the exact mechanism for its development, tendonitis and other inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, are fairly common among diabetics.
At our orthopaedic surgery facility in San Antonio, TX, our team of board-certified orthopaedic doctors and support staff can get to the root cause of tendonitis and a whole host of other musculoskeletal issues. We want a fully functional, mobile, and pain-free life for all our patients.
If you suspect tendonitis, please call our office for a consultation with Dr. Geoffrey Millican, Dr. Michael Jones, or Dr. Raymond Shunda. You’ll receive an evaluation and treatment plan that makes sense for your lifestyle, overall health, and needs.