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What is tendonitis?

Tendonitis is the inflammation, pain or irritation of a tendon — the thick fibrous cord that attaches muscle to bone, usually after a tendon injury. The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint. The pain usually subsides within two or three weeks through home remedies, rest and the right treatment.

Possible Causes: 

Flexible bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones are called tendons. When tendons get injured or suffer small tears, that causes inflammation and the condition is called tendonitis.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the cause, in most cases the cause appears to be overuse and overload. This means that you are either repeating a motion too often or lifting a heavy weight that places stress on a particular muscle and their tendons.

Risk Factors: 

Tendonitis occurs when you exhibit the following:

  • A bad body posture while working and bursts of activity in an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.
  • Doing a workout or indulging in a sport without adequate warming up.
  • Problems with a bone or joint (tight bony canal) that puts pressure on soft-tissues surrounding it.
  • Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders and diabetes.
  • Infections of tendon sheath.

Signs & Symptoms: 

Tendonitis can happen anywhere in the body but is seen mostly in the shoulder, elbow, knee, wrist and heel.

The most common tendonitis symptom is the pain which may be accompanied with a feeling of weakness, reduced function and joint range of motion. Generally, tendonitis causes pain in the tissues surrounding a joint, especially after the joint is used too much during play or work.

Depending on the tendon that is affected, the signs are:

  • Achilles tendonitis – pain at the back of the heel or above it.
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis – a dull, aching shoulder pain which radiates toward the chest and upper arm.
  • De Quervain's disease – pain at the side of the wrist, near the base of the thumb.
  • Tennis elbow – pain of the outer side of the elbow extending down to the forearm and wrist.
  • Golfer's elbow – pain in the inner side of the elbow may be signs of such as tendonitis elbow.
  • Jumper's knee – pain below the kneecap and, above it could indicate a tendonitis of quadriceps muscle tendon.

Diagnosis: 

Discuss your signs and symptoms with a specialist at Medcare for the right diagnosis. After reviewing your medical history, including any previous joint injuries, our doctor will ask you specific questions about the type of pain that you’re experiencing. A physical examination and some functional tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Blood tests and X-rays are required to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms such as gout, infections and rheumatoid arthritis. X-rays may also confirm that there is no fracture, dislocation, soft tissue calcification or bone disease. MRI scans may be required in some cases.

Treatment Options:

There are a number of options for treating tendonitis, and you can find the one most suited for your condition by consulting a sports medicine specialist at Medcare.

The application of an ice pack immediately after you play a sport or run, helps relieve pain. To reduce pain and swelling, our doctor may recommend pain killers and rest, so your body can repair itself. An antibiotic may be recommended in case the tendonitis is related to an infection. You may need to use a splint or a brace while the affected tendon is healing.

Only if there is significant damage to the tendon will your specialist recommend surgery. Other treatment options include a procedure called dry needling, or ultrasonic treatment or surgery.

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FAQs: Inclusions: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • How does tendonitis occur?

    A: Tendons are flexible bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. When tendons are overused, they become inflamed or suffer small tears and the condition is called tendonitis.

  • How long do the symptoms last?

    A: Depending on the location and severity of tendonitis, symptoms may last for a few days or for several weeks. If there is continued overuse or neglect of the injured tendon, the pain may increase.

  • What is dry needling?

    A: Dry needling is getting increasingly popular as a treatment for a variety of painful and dysfunctional conditions, including tendonitis. A needle that contains no medication is inserted into the muscles to stimulate trigger points, or areas of knotted muscles. The needles help to release the knot and relieve the spasm.

  • How does ultrasound treatment benefit tendonitis?

    A: Ultrasound treatment involves the use of high-frequency sound to heat an area of your body. This increases the blood supply to that region. This treatment has been found to promote healing and reduce inflammation by creating a histamine response in the body, which gives relief from tendonitis.

  • Do Xrays show tendon damage?

    A: X-rays are only used for looking at your bones and cannot be used for detecting tendon damage. This is because X-rays do not show soft tissue structures such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage etc. While X-rays are one of the most commonly used and widely available diagnostic imaging techniques, they are still unable to show as many details as an image that is produced with more sophisticated techniques such as an MRI or a CT scan. 

    So, injuries or damage to the tendons can be seen on an MRI scan. Even an ultrasound can help diagnose tendon damage.

    Need an accurate diagnosis for your tendon damage? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • What happens if tendonitis goes untreated?

    A: If tendonitis goes untreated, there is a risk of it becoming chronic. Chronic tendonitis ends up causing you constant pain, starts interfering with your daily activities and also causes difficulty in sleeping. In some cases, the pain can even spread out from the affected area and radiate to other body parts. 

    Untreated tendonitis can also cause weakening, rupture of the tendon and can also cause permanent damage to the affected area over a period of time. If the tendon ruptures it could further deteriorate and may require surgery.

    Fear you may have tendonitis? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist for treatment today.

  • Will tendonitis heal on its own?

    A: In most cases, tendonitis heals on its own with some self-care at home. Recovery generally takes around two to four weeks in case the damage is not severe, but chronic tendonitis can take more than six weeks to heal on its own. 

    Some tips to keep in mind for self-care at home include limiting the mobility of the affected area, regularly applying ice packs and resting the affected area. Once the pain becomes manageable, you can also apply a hot compress to the affected body part to help with stiffness.

    However, in cases where tendonitis is persistent or severe, you may need medical aid to treat the condition.

    Need an expert's help to deal with tendonitis successfully? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • How long does it take to heal from tendonitis?

    A: Tendonitis tends to heal on its own without any specialised treatment except for self-care at home. 

    A majority of the damage to the tendon heals in about two to four weeks, but chronic tendonitis can take more than six weeks to heal completely. The more stress you put on the affected tendon, the longer it will take to heal. 


    It is best to ensure complete rest to the affected part of the body and avoid repetitive movements to speed up healing the injured tendon. Stretching the tendon can also help to increase flexibility and boost blood circulation to that area which will further speed up the healing process.

    Need to heal your tendonitis quickly? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • What is the best treatment for tendonitis?

    A: Often, the best treatment for tendonitis includes rest, applying ice or a cold compress over the affected area and taking over-the-counter pain relievers that are prescribed by doctors.

    However, if you find that self-care is not helping, then your doctor may prescribe taking corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain. Alternatively, you could also be advised to undergo physical therapy.

    All these treatment options aim to restore movement to the affected joint without pain and also help to maintain the strength of the surrounding muscles.

    Need to know how to relieve pain brought on by tendonitis? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

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