Tendinitis, also known as tendonitis, is the inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are tough, flexible, fibrous bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. When tendons become inflamed, irritated, or suffer microscopic tears, the condition is called tendonitis. Tendinitis causes acute pain and tenderness, making it difficult to move the affected joint. It is normally linked to an acute injury with inflammation. It often affects the elbow, wrist, finger, thigh, and other parts of the body. Tendinitis can occur at any age, but it is more common among adults who do a lot of sport. Older people are also susceptible because the tendons tend to lose elasticity and become weaker with age. Different types of tendinitis affect different parts of the body.
Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon is between the heel and the calf muscle. Achilles tendinitis is a common sports injury. It may also be caused by shoes that fit badly or do not properly support the foot. It is more likely among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Supraspinatus tendinitis: With supraspinatus tendinitis, the tendon around the top of the shoulder joint becomes inflamed, causing pain when the arm is moved, especially upwards. Some patients may find it painful to lie on the affected shoulder at night. If other tendons in the same area are also affected, the patient may have rotator cuff syndrome.
Tennis or golfer’s elbow: A common symptom of lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, is pain on the outer side of the elbow. It may radiate down towards the wrist. Medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow is pain on the inner side of the elbow, and it is more common among golfers. Pain is more acute when trying to lift against a force. The pain sometimes radiates down to the wrist.
De Quervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis: The sheath that surrounds the thumb tendons, between the thumb and wrist, becomes inflamed. With the thickened sheath and swelling in the area, it becomes painful to move the thumb.
Trigger finger or thumb: The finger or thumb clicks when straightened out. It becomes fixed in a bent position because the tendon sheath in the palm of the hand is thickened and inflamed and does not allow the tendon to move smoothly. Sometimes a nodule forms along the tendon.
Tendinitis of the wrist: This can affect badminton players and production line workers, who repeatedly use the same motion with their wrist. Tendinopathy is another type of injury that affects the wrist tendons. This is a degenerative condition rather than an inflammation.