Tendinitis (ten-DIN-eye-tus) is the inflammation of a tendon (a fibrous, cordlike connective tissue that joins and transfers power from a muscle to a bone). It is a common problem in both young and older people, but musicians, athletes, and people who do repetitive motions at work are particularly susceptible. Severe cases can cause a person to lose his or her ability to work or play.

It is most often caused by overuse or improper posture during work or sports; using one's body in an awkward position can often cause the disorder, so proper work ergonomics are an important element of prevention, as are proper stretching and warming up before strenuous activity. However, tendinitis may also be caused by an infection of the sheath surrounding the tendon. It may also be found as a complication of disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or diabetes.

The symptoms of tendinits include pain, swelling, and stiffness. Mild cases may cause minor discomfort and are usually temporary. Severe cases, which can become recurrent or chronic, can cause debilitating pain and loss of motion. For instance, a bad case of tendinitis in the wrist can cause shooting pains that spread up the entire arm, causing that arm to be pretty much useless during flare-ups.

Treatment for tendinitis largely depends on its cause. If it's caused by an infection or other illness, the main course of action would be to treat the underlying disease. Mild cases caused by poor ergonomics or poor conditioning may be treated by administering anti-inflammatory drugs (anything from aspirin to ibuprofen to naproxen) and helping the patient to correct his or her body posture and improving his or her condition through stretching and exercises.

Treatment for more severe cases includes wrapping or splinting the affected area (compression helps the swelling go down), alternately applying heat and ice packs to the affected area, and taking pain and anti-inflammatory medication. Sometimes the pain is intense, and doctors may prescribe drugs such as vicodin or give injections of other pain meds. If the swelling and inflammation don't respond sufficiently to standard anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid medications such as prednisone may be prescribed.

If severe tendinitis doesn't respond to medications, surgery may be necessary.

Common forms of tendinitis include:


  • http://www.rheumatology.org/patients/factsheet/tendin.html
  • http://www.voyagerrecords.com/artend.htm
  • http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/tendon_disorders.html

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