Chronic Tendonitis Causes and Treatment
- Publish Date: 2009/02/21 - (Rev. 2018/03/16)
- Author: Steve Madigan
Outline: Chronic tendonitis can affect the tendons in many different parts of the body Tendons are the elastic tissue that connects the muscle to the bone.
There are many people in the world that suffer from chronic tendonitis. This can be extremely unpleasant situation for those people. As we get older the tendons start to lose their elasticity due to age and normal wear and tear. "Chronic" means recurring. Chronic tendonitis can affect the tendons in many different parts of the body. Tendons are the elastic tissue that connects the muscle to the bone.
Tendinitis (also called tendonitis) is defined as an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle. Tendinitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the affected area, or from a sudden more serious injury. For reasons not fully understood, tendonitis occurs more often in people with diabetes.
The elderly are at a higher risk of developing chronic tendonitis. Sometimes with over use, these tendons will break or tear and then scar tissue will form. Scar tissue is not as flexible as the tendons themselves and with continued use inflammation and pain will occur.
The specific areas that are most effected are, the shoulders, ankles, elbows and feet. The main problem with these areas is that they typically don't have a chance to rest. We are using these parts constantly during the day. They never really get a chance to heal, other than when we sleep. What happens then with the constant use, chronic tendonitis develops.
Now you have to understand that age is not the only factor to chronic tendonitis. You read all the time about athletes suffering from tendonitis. There constant repetitive motion is a strain on the tendons.
Here are just a few examples of athletes that can develop chronic tendonitis. Even though some feel that golfers are not really athletes they are at risk as well as baseball players swinging the bat all the time and also having to throw the ball so hard. These motions are stressing the tendons in the elbows, shoulders and hands. These tendons over time weaken and then inflammation and pain occur.
Some people that suffer from chronic tendonitis probably could have avoided getting this problem by just doing some proper stretching and warm up prior to doing the activity By not warming up and stretching properly put added strain on the tendons and this will lead to tearing and or rupture of the tendon. Once this happens the treatment options are greatly reduced.
How to Deal with Chronic Tendonitis:
The pain that comes with tendonitis varies from mild to extremely severe. The earlier you catch it and recognize that you have tendonitis the better your chances of not causing a major problem. Some of the treatments are as follows:
- Ibuprofen and rest - If there is an area that is inflamed and painful, stop the activity. Give these tendons a chance to heal with ibuprofen and rest. Sometimes you can use the topical treatments as well, by rubbing the creams directly into the effected body part for immediate pain relief.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs - When the pain becomes severe the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Once you start to get the inflammation down the reduction in pain level will reduce also.
- Stretching - This is recommended often as a cure. You need to stretch in order to keep the joints flexible. If this is done properly chronic tendonitis is less likely to occur.
- Cortisone treatment - Chronic tendonitis can become extremely severe and when this happens, sometimes the doctor will inject cortisone into the effected area. The relief is immediate, but it does not come without risks. These Corticosteroids have been known to weaken the immune system. The injection site area can also become infected.
What is important is that the tendons are given time to heal. If continued use happens, severe tendon injury can occur. When this happen surgery may be the only way to relieve the pain. This is really the last step to chronic tendonitis. You will use this option if all the other options do not relieve the pain. You must allow the tendon time to heal or you are risking serious problems.
Avoiding Chronic Tendonitis:
The best way to avoid chronic tendonitis is to take steps to avoid the activity which can cause the condition. If this is not possible, then make sure that you stretch prior to the activity. Warm up stretching is necessary even before you exercise. Try changing your exercise routine to something low impact.
When you start to feel pain and see swelling happening, apply ice to the area that is inflamed. Most of all stop the activity immediately. If you continue to use this inflamed area and do not allow it time to heal you are going to develop chronic tendonitis and the pain and inflammation will just get worse with each use. You may have to modify your activity a little, but this is going to help. You will prevent major tendon damage and pain over the long term.