Whether you’re a tried-and-true athlete or a weekend warrior, you don’t want painful tendinitis keeping you away from reaching your fitness goals. Siatta B. Dunbar, DO, CAQSM, provides comprehensive sports medicine and orthopedic care for patients of all ages at her practice in Burnsville, Minnesota. Book your appointment online or call today.
A tendon is the thick cord that connects muscle to bone. When you cause injury or prolonged stress to a tendon it is known as tendinitis. Most people suffering from tendinitis feel a dull pain, tenderness, or notice inflammation in the affected area.
Tendinitis can happen in many areas throughout your body, but it typically affects your:
Tendinitis is often called by other names depending on the area of the body it occurs. For instance, Achilles tendinitis is an injury to the tissue that joins calf muscles at the rear of the lower leg to your heel bone. Runners who have amped up their training or middle-aged weekend warriors most commonly get this type of tendinitis.
Other names for tendinitis include:
Although there are a variety of causes associated with tendinitis, repetitive or awkward movement over a period of time and sports injuries are the most common causes. Other causes can include:
Treatment for tendinitis is all about relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Whenever possible, Dr. Dunbar commits to a non-surgical approach. For some mild cases, she may simply recommend a little rest, relaxation, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications. For more severe cases of tendinitis, she may recommend additional medications including oral, topical or injectable medications as well as physical therapy.
The goal for medications is two-fold: reduce pain and reduce inflammation. Oral pain medications may relieve tendinitis discomfort, while topical creams or lotions with an anti-inflammatory medication are becoming a popular treatment for reducing inflammation without the possible side effects that some oral anti-inflammatories may have.
There is limited evidence of the long-term benefit of cortisone injections to treat tendinitis. However, if you are suffering from chronic tendinitis, Dr. Dunbar recommends an emerging medicinal treatment called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and Tenex. PRP involves the injection of your own blood platelets. Early research reports that a PRP injection in the affected area shows positive outcomes for chronic tendinitis sufferers. Tenex is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that removes damaged tissue using ultrasonic energy.
For the most severe cases where tendinitis has torn or permanently damaged the tendon, Dr. Dunbar may recommend surgery but prefers minimally invasive procedures to either repair a torn tendon or to stimulate healing.
If tendinitis pain is slowing you down, make an appointment with Dr. Dunbar. Call today or book online.