Repetitive Motion Injuries - Tendinitis

by Sam Malone

Tendonitis is a systemic disease characterized by an irritation or an inflammation of your tendons, those fibrous and thick cords that attach bones and muscles. This condition, which creates tenderness and pain outside the joint, is most usually around the knees, elbows, and shoulders. But it can also affect your wrists, heels, and hips.

In anatomy, tendons are surrounded by tissues similar to synovium, or the lining of your joints. They're prone to wear and tear primarily because of aging. Another cause for it can be the overuse of your tendons when you're engaged in work, play or any strenuous activity, as well as injury. The pain may be a result to a tiny tear or inflammation of your tendons. It can also be associated with some inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. If it affects the bursa, a sac found near the tendon, tendonitis becomes bursitis.

You are at greater risk of having tendonitis if you do too much repetitive motions in your legs and arms. For example, swimmers, golfers, tennis players, and professional baseball players are more vulnerable to tendonitis in their arms, elbows, and shoulders. Basketball and soccer players, dancers, and runners are susceptible to inflamed tendons in their feet and legs. Yet you don't need to be an athlete to acquire this condition. It increases as your muscles undergo aging and lose their elasticity. Inappropriate techniques applies to a rigorous exercise like aerobics can produce too much pressure in your tendons.

Pain, mild swelling in the affected areas, and tenderness are some of the common symptoms of tendonitis, which can be aggravated by movement. Pain varies according to where the condition attacks. If it's on your tennis elbow, the pain can be felt in the outside portion of the forearm near the elbow. Adductor tendonitis exhibits pain the groin.

Diagnosis of tendonitis is performed after proper observation of the abovementioned symptoms. It will also involve a review of your medical history and conducting comprehensive physical examination. X-rays are useless as they can't produce images of your tendons but can be helpful in ruling out other bone-related conditions. To determine if your tendons are undergoing wear and tear, an MRI is often advised. A series of blood tests may be needed if your physician thinks that your tendonitis is caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatments can range from simple to complex. It is advised to take breaks to rest the affected area. Stretching and relaxing can also ease the symptoms of repetitive motion injury. Non-inflammatory pain relievers are recommended for pain. When motion along the joints hurts too much, applying a splint can prevent sudden painful friction. Applying ice treatments to the affected area can also reduce the swelling and the pain. Only rarely is surgery opted when the pain is too severe and debilitating

There are also natural remedies to soothe the pain and swelling in repetitive motion injury. Prepare a liniment of capsicum, camphor, and purified turpentine for joint pains. Arnica gel applied to the affected area can also soothe the pain. Bromelain made from pineapple stems and curcumin (from turmeric) are better alternatives to ibuprofen and aspirin.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
More articles from the Injuries Category