What Is Tendinitis?


Tendinitis is a condition of inflammation or irritation of the tendon. The tendon is the tissue that connects muscle to bone, which helps in movement. When the tendon is inflamed, it will feel pain when the muscle is moved, thus interfering with muscle movement. Tendinitis can occur in tendons in any part of the body, although it is most common in the shoulders, elbows, knees, ankles and heels.


Causes of Tendinitis
Although tendinitis can be caused by a sudden injury, this condition is more common because of repetitive movements. Some people experience tendinitis due to work or hobbies that involve repetitive motion and put pressure on the tendon.

Aging age may increase a person's risk of tendinitis, as tendon flexibility decreases. Tendinitis is also at risk due to activities involving repetitive motion or exercise without stretching before.

In addition to a number of the above, obese, diabetic, and rheumatoid arthritis are also at risk of tendinitis. Another factor that can cause tendinitis is the use of antibiotics, such as levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin , as well as smoking habits.


Types of Tendinitis
Tendinitis is divided into several conditions according to the location of the affected tendon, including:
  • Lateral epicondylitis, ie tendinitis in the tendon at the outer elbow. The cause is an activity that involves turning on the wrist, as in tennis athletes and badminton.
  • Medial epicondylitis, ie tendinitis in the tendon at the inner elbow. Generally occurs due to elbow gestures as do golf and baseball athletes.
  • Achilles tendinitis, ie tendinitis in the Achilles tendon (the tendon behind the ankle) is commonly the result of running and jumping activities.
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis, ie tendinitis that commonly occurs in sports involving arm lift movements, such as swimmers, resulting in inflammation of the rotator cuff tendon.
  • De Quervain tendinitis, which is tendinitis in the wrist, precisely at the base of the thumb that generally occurs due to grip or pinch movement. Sometimes it happens to women during pregnancy without knowing why.
  • Knee tendinitis, ie tendinitis that occurs in the patellar tendon located below the knee or on the quadriceps tendon that is above the knee. Generally occurs in athletes basketball or long distance runners.
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Symptoms of Tendinitis
Tendinitis will cause pain in the inflamed tendon. It usually worsens when the tendon is moved, but it can also appear when the patient is resting. In addition, the tendon can also experience swelling.


Diagnosis of Tendinitis
Tendinitis is usually known through physical examination, but in some cases doctors require imaging procedures, such as ultrasound, X-rays, or MRI , to see the possibility of tendon rupture and thickening, or joint dislocation.


Treatment of Tendinitis
The doctor will administer painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to be consumed, and inject corticosteroids into the patient's tendon area to relieve inflammation. Corticosteroids are not recommended for tendinitis that is more than 3 months because of the risk of weakening the tendon and making the tendon broken.

Treatment by injecting platelet-rich blood plasma (PRP) may also be an option. The doctor will take a sample of the patient's blood, as well as separate platelets and blood plasma from other blood components, then re-injected into the tendon area. However, the choice of therapy is still being studied to obtain optimal results.

Patients will also be advised to perform physiotherapy aimed at strengthening the affected tendon. If physiotherapy does not help, the doctor will suggest several procedures, including:
  • Dry needling . The doctor will make a small hole in the tendon using a fine needle to stimulate factors that can correct the tendon.
  • Ultrasound . A small incision will be made to insert an ultrasonic sound wave instrument to remove scar tissue.
  • Surgery. Surgical action by the surgeon will be performed under conditions of severe tendinitis such as detachment of the tendon from the bone.
To help the healing process, resting an inflamed tendon is useful for reducing pain and swelling, as well as for tissue healing. But patients can still do activities that do not burden the tendon. Patients can also compress the diseased area with ice for 20 minutes several times a day. This step is useful to reduce pain, swelling, and muscle tension. In addition, to reduce swelling, elastic bandage can be used and elevate the inflamed part. Keep the activity light so that the joints are not stiff.


Complications of Tendinitis
Tendinitis can increase the risk of tendon breakup so surgery is necessary. If the irritation of the tendon lasts for several weeks or months, the patient may experience tendinosis, the condition of the tendon that undergoes degenerative changes and followed by the formation of abnormal blood vessels.


Prevention of Tendinitis
Take the following precautions to avoid the risk of tendinitis:
  • Avoid activities that excessive pressure on the tendon, especially if done continuously, and stop the activity if pain appears.
  • Switch to another sporting option, if the usual exercise is painful.
  • Follow the advice of a professional sports instructor so that the movements do not cause problems with the tendon.
  • Stretch after exercise to maximize joint motion and reduce recurrent injuries to tense tissue.
  • If possible, arrange chairs and tables at work to fit the ergonomic position, which is the best position so as not to injure muscles, tendons, or joints.
  • Strengthening the muscles commonly used when the activity can avoid tendon injury and joints where the muscle is attached.

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