Recognizing the Warning Signs of Tendinitis

While a few aches and pains may be part and parcel of being active, athletes and weekend warriors are more susceptible to tendinitis, irritation, or inflammation of a tendon, the cords that connect your muscles to your bone. In fact, about half of all school-age sports injuries are due to tendinitis.   

Athletes and people who perform actions or a job with lots of repetition, like lifting, loading, or reaching overhead, are at higher risk of developing this condition as are people over 40 since with age soft tissues and tendons have a tendency to weaken.

The symptoms of tendinitis can be difficult to recognize since they’re similar to several other conditions, like osteoarthritis and bursitis. So, how can you tell if what you’re experiencing is tendinitis or something else?  

Mark Hopkins, DPM, and the team at South Sound Foot & Ankle in Olympia, Washington, can diagnose and treat your tendinitis as part of our comprehensive sports medicine services. And since early treatment can give you the best prognosis, we’ve put together this guide to help you recognize the warning signs of tendinitis. Read on to learn more!

Tendinitis 101

The thick, fibrous bands of tissue and collagen that connect your bones and muscles are called tendons. Tendons work like rubber bands, helping your body move and stay active. 

When one of these bands gets hurt due to a sudden injury, like a collision, or repetitive motion, like tennis or swimming, they can get inflamed or irritated. This condition is called tendinitis.  

Anyone can develop tendinitis, but certain risk factors increase your chances of developing the condition. For example, as you get older your tendons and other soft tissues lose flexibility, making you more susceptible to injury. Other risk factors include:

You can get tendinitis anywhere on the body where a tendon connects your bone and muscle, but certain areas experience trouble more frequently. These areas include the elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, thumb, and Achilles tendon.     

What are the warning signs of tendinitis?

The signs and symptoms of tendinitis are easy to confuse with other conditions that affect your joints, like osteoarthritis. That’s because one of the first warning signs is a dull ache around the affected joint, especially during or after movement. 

Pain due to tendinitis can build gradually in some cases or appear suddenly in others depending on the root cause of the inflammation. Other warning signs include:

In severe cases, tendinitis can cause the tendon to rupture. If this happens, it will be difficult to move the affected joint. 

Are there treatments for tendinitis?

If Dr. Hopkins determines tendinitis is the cause of your symptoms, he creates a customized treatment plan to meet your needs. His goal is to help you recover quickly and get back to your normal activities as soon as possible while ensuring your injury heals completely.

The exact treatments and therapies Dr. Hopkins prescribes depend on the severity of your condition but may include one or more of the following options:

Wondering if your symptoms point to tendinitis? Contact Dr. Hopkins and the team at South Sound Foot & Ankle to find out or book an appointment online now!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Sprained Ankle Awareness

Spring is sports season for many amateur athletes and weekend warriors. It's also ankle sprain season for many of those individuals. Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries that are treated this time of year.

How to Avoid an Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains make up almost one-third of sports medicine injuries, and people of all ages experience them all too easily. Avoid starting the new year off with crutches and learn how to reduce your risk of ankle injuries with a few simple exercises!

Home Care for an Ingrown Toenail

The discomfort an ingrown toenail causes can take the joy out of your holidays. This painful condition can make every step a chore. Learn how you can care for an ingrown toenail at home and find relief.

Why Do I Need Orthotics?

Some people assume custom orthotics are only for people with serious foot issues. Not so! While orthotics can help alleviate pain, there are other reasons to consider using them. Read on to learn more about why orthotics could be right for you.

How Diabetes Affects Your Feet

If you have diabetes, you know the disease has an impact on your blood sugar levels and overall health. But did you know diabetes can cause serious trouble for your feet? Keep reading to learn more about how diabetes impacts your foot health.

5 Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The pain plantar fasciitis brings can interrupt your life, making it difficult to carry out everyday tasks. To avoid developing this painful condition, it can be helpful to understand what causes it in the first place. Read on to learn more!