We’ve all heard about tennis elbow, and many of us have suffered from it. In reality, it is a form of tendonitis brought on by the frequent, repetitive motions involved in playing tennis.
Tendonitis, however, is not limited to the elbow or arm. It can occur throughout the body. Any activity which places stress on the same tendon can cause that tendon to become inflamed and sore.
Tendonitis can be either acute (i.e. a temporary flare up) or chronic (i.e. long lasting). When tendonitis keeps recurring, it is called chronic tendonitis.
Tendons are composed of elastic-like tissue which connects our muscles to our bones. As we age, tendons tend to lose their elasticity through normal wear and tear. From time to time, a tendon will break or tear and scar tissue forms in the healing process. Scar tissue is not as flexible as tendon tissue and frequently causes pain and inflammation with continued use and motion. Most often the areas affected are elbows, knees, ankles, shoulders and feet.
Obviously it’s these parts of our anatomy that see repeated use during the course of a normal day. As we continue placing strain on an injured tendon, it doesn’t have an opportunity to heal which, in turn, leads to chronic tendonitis.
Age is only one of the underlying causes of chronic tendonitis. Athletes who are highly trained and in superb condition can also suffer from chronic tendonitis. Again, it is the repetitive motions required by a variety of sports that cause the condition to erupt. For example, repeated motion of the golfer’s swing or a pitcher’s throwing arm in baseball over the course of time can cause weakness in the tissue and lead to inflammation of the muscles and tendons. This is why it’s so important to do stretching exercises and warm ups prior to strenuous activity.
Left untreated, things can only get worse. Both acute and chronic tendonitis sometimes will result in a tear or rupture of the tendon. In this case, the physician will probably prescribe surgery, but only after more conservative measures have failed.
Acute or chronic tendonitis can cause mild to severe pain. In its simplest and most conservative approach, treatment will involve analgesics such as ibuprofen and resting the affected area. Depending on the severity, your physician may conclude that you will benefit from an anti-inflammatory medication and may prescribe cortisone injections. This is an effective, and powerful anti-inflammatory medication that helps to reduce the pain and swelling and promote healing of tendonitis. Treatment may also include mild stretching exercises in order to keep the joints flexible.
Just a word of caution is in order. Corticosteroids can be injected but they do not come without risks. One of their side effects is that they can weaken the immune system or infection can appear at the injection site. Again, It is critical that the tendon be given time to heal or more serious tendon injury can occur. And, as mentioned, surgery may be required in cases of tears or ruptures in order to repair the damage and relieve the pain of chronic tendonitis.
Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com
Related Information From The Blogosphere:
Natural Pain Relief for Tendonitis
Tendonitis can be very painful, and if you’re a chronic tendonitis sufferer, you’ll be looking for natural pain relief. The best pain relief is rest, until the tendon mends, but this is not always possible.
Robert G. Knechtel operates several websites, including TendonitisFacts.Com – Tendonitis Facts and Tips and PainReliefChronicles.Com – Exploring Pain Relief Options