Tendonitis: Symptoms and Treatment
Tendonitis is an acute inflammatory lesion of the tendon or muscle structures. The pathological process can affect any tendon or muscle. But most often the disease is diagnosed in the area of large joints. According to statistics, the disease is more susceptible to men. Most often, the ailment is a consequence of regular excessive physical exertion or sports trauma. There are no restrictions on age. Tendonitis can provoke other, more complex ailments.
The disease can be both independent, and the consequence of another background disease. Most often this process can provoke physical stress. Especially it is likely if excessive physical impact is on untrained muscles and ligaments.
In general, we can distinguish such main causes of the development of the disease:
- Local inflammatory processes
- Previously injured joints.
In addition, tendonitis can develop due to such etiological factors:
- impaired metabolism
- infectious diseases
- viral diseases;
- disturbances in the functioning of the immune system
- rheumatic ailments
As for infectious diseases, most often the inflammatory process provokes such ailments:
- some subtypes of streptococci.
However, it is worth noting that such etiological factors are possible only if a person’s immune system is too weak.
The mechanism of the development of the inflammatory process in the muscle or ligament area is very complex and has not been fully studied. But, as medical research shows in this area, the basis is an autoimmune process. If you do not treat diseases that are an etiological factor, the development of antibodies begins in the body. Antibodies begin to affect the tissues in the body, including ligaments and muscles. Thus, the inflammatory process develops.
In most cases, at the initial stage of the disease, there are practically no symptoms. As the disease develops in the muscles or tendons, you can observe such symptoms:
- redness of the skin in the area of the damaged ligament
- impaired motor function
- nodules under the skin.
It is worth noting that the overall clinical picture may be supplemented by other symptoms, if the cause of tendonitis is another disease.
If the cause of tendonitis is rheumatic diseases, then the following symptoms can be added to the general list of symptoms:
- severe joint pain
- deformation of the toes on the lower limbs;
- shortness of breath;
- blue fingertips
Pain most often disturbs the patient in the morning. By the evening painful sensations become less pronounced. In the state of rest, the pain syndrome in the ligaments or muscles is practically not observed.
The nature of the localization
Disease can form in almost any joint. However, it is most often localized in such places:
- Achilles tendon
- hip joint
- in the shoulder region
- patellar inflammation (knee joint)
- Elbow joint
A little less often, but still occurs, a pathological process in the area of wrists and feet.
Tendonitis of the knee joint
Tendonitis of the knee joint or patellar ligament is an inflammatory process in the region of the tibia and knee cap. Tendonitis of the knee joint is most often diagnosed in professional athletes. In folk medicine, this syndrome is called the «knee of the jumper», because of the localization of the disease.
The inflammatory process of the patella develops in three stages:
- easy (there is almost no painful syndrome)
- moderate (pain is palpable only during a period of strong physical activity)
- Severe (discomfort and pain in the patellar ligament accompany the patient always, even in a period of complete rest)
Symptoms of patellar ligament injury:
- pain, swelling of the knee
- increased pain with a bent leg
- Constraints in the motor function.
Treatment of the patellar ligament can be conservative or surgical.
Conservative treatment of patellar ligament includes the following:
- taking local and oral anti-inflammatory drugs
- complete rest of the patellar ligament
- physiotherapy procedures.
If the knee tendonitis is diagnosed already in the advanced stage or the disease was preceded by another, more severe disease, then surgical intervention is possible. But at an early stage of the inflammatory process in the patellar ligament, operative intervention is almost never used, conservative treatment is sufficient.
Shoulder joint tendonitis
Tendonitis of the shoulder joint is the development of the inflammatory process in the supraspinatus muscle. In the main risk group, people aged 40-60 years. But in people who are often prone to severe physical exertion, or professional athletes, the disease can be diagnosed at an earlier age.
The development of the inflammatory process begins with the supraspinous muscle. As the tendonitis of the shoulder joint develops, the peripheral tissues are also involved in the pathological process.
Symptoms of inflammation of the supraspinous muscle do not practically differ from the general clinical picture of the disease. The difference is only in the localization of pain. Especially the pain syndrome increases with motor activity. In some cases, pain can be given to the elbow joint.
If shoulder tendinitis does not start to heal in a timely manner, then there is a risk of developing serious complications. Most often tendinitis of the shoulder in a neglected form passes into the contracture of the shoulder.
Achilles tendon tendonitis
Tendonitis of the Achilles tendon is the development of the pathological process in the Achilles tendon area. As in most cases, the inflammatory process is a consequence of trauma in athletes or excessive physical activity.
Tendonitis of the Achilles tendon at an early stage is manifested only by a mild pain in the area of the affected tendon. In some cases, the clinical picture is accompanied by an increase in skin temperature in the affected area.
In most cases, the ailment of this form is treated conservatively, without hospitalization.
Tendonitis of the elbow joint
Tendonitis of the elbow joint is a consequence of prolonged overstrain of the joint. It is noteworthy that the inflammatory process in this area can not show signs for a long time (up to several years) or develop rapidly (in just a couple of weeks). Elbow tendonitis is treated without surgery. Drug therapy, physiotherapy procedures give good results.
There is a slight difference in the etiology and symptomatology of temporal tendonitis. The cause of the development of the ailment of this subform can be an incorrect bite, a habit of cracking too hard food (sweets, nuts). Because of the symptoms, quite often people turn to the dentist or neurologist.
- headache and toothache
- pain in the gum area, which is aggravated by conversation, eating.
Sometimes painful sensations can give to the temporal region and neck.
Temporal tendonitis is well treated by conservative therapy and physiotherapy procedures. With timely and adequate treatment of complications does not cause.
Tendonitis of the biceps is an acute inflammation of the biceps muscle. Most often, the etiological factor is chronic load on the tendon. It is noteworthy that the pathological process can occur suddenly, and have a pronounced symptomatology, and may not apply any signs for several years.
Inflammation of the biceps muscle manifests itself in the form of pain in the shoulder area. During the raising of the hand, the pain may increase. After physical activity, there may be a feeling of stiff joint stiffness, which indicates a severe damage to the biceps and adjacent tendons.
In most cases, pathology responds well to a conservative treatment with physiotherapy procedures.
Tendonitis of the foot and wrist
Tendonitis of the foot, as well as tendonitis of the wrist, is rare. The clinical picture in this case is as follows:
- swelling and redness in the area of the damaged joint
- finger contracture
- painful sensations even with little activity
- crunching in the joints.
With the above symptoms, you should immediately contact a surgeon or rheumatologist. The development of the inflammatory process can lead to the development of more complex diseases.
Tendonitis of the hip joint
The main etiological factors in inflammation of the hip are as follows:
- Systematic excessive load on the hip joint
- infectious pathologies that affect connective tissue
- lack of calcium.
Symptomatic in hip joint lesions corresponds to the general clinical picture. In some cases, the temperature of the skin can be increased in the area of inflammation.
The surgical intervention with inflammation of the hip joint is extremely rare. The main treatment program consists of drug therapy and physiotherapy procedures. The lack of correct treatment can lead to the development of hip joint contracture.
Laboratory and instrumental diagnostic methods are used. Also taken into account is his own and family history of the patient.
The laboratory research program includes the following:
- a general blood test;
- biochemical blood tests
- antibody test
Instrumental diagnostics includes such methods:
Based on the tests, the competent expert can put an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment.
In most cases, the treatment of tendonitis does not require surgical intervention. The standard program includes the following:
- limb fixation
- use of anti-inflammatory drugs (including topical application)
- physiotherapy procedures.
Surgical intervention in the treatment of tendonitis is used only in extreme cases — when the inflammatory process has passed into the purulent stage. After the operation, the patient should undergo a course of rehabilitation, with exercise therapy.
Forecast and Prevention
With timely access to medical care and correct treatment, the disease does not cause any complications. Prevention of this disease as such is not present. But you can significantly reduce the risk of inflammation. To do this, you should practice a few simple rules in practice:
- training should only take place in special equipment
- shoes should be comfortable — not tight and non-slip
- Infectious and viral diseases should be treated timely and to the end.