Your tendons are the strong cords of tissue which attach your muscles to your bones. They help ensure you can move freely and help to move your bones and joints as your muscles contract. There are many different tendon injuries and conditions and they include:
- Tendonitis – the inflammation of a tendon
- Tenosynovitis – inflammation of the protective sheath that covers a tendon
- Tendon rupture – a tear to the tendon
- Tendinopathy – the gradual degenerative deterioration of a tendon
Tendon injuries are usually caused by sudden movement or through sports where throwing or jumping are key and they can also be caused by repeated overuse of specific tendons such as in running or in the regular, daily use of a computer, resulting in repetitive strain injury.
Symptoms of a Tendon Condition
Tendon injuries and conditions can effect almost any joint in the body. The most commonly effected areas include the elbows, shoulders, wrists, knees, fingers and the backs of the hands and tendon injuries can usually be identified through:
- Pain that gets excessively worse as you move the affected area
- Weakness in the affected area or inability to move the joint at all
- Stiffness in the affected area which is often particularly bad in the morning
- Swelling around the affected area
- A protruding lump on the affected tendon
If you suffer a tendon rupture, there will be a sudden severe pain which settles into continuous dull ache and you may find it difficult to move your joint.
Treating your Tendons
If you think you have injured a tendon, then it is important to stop any physical activity which may have caused the injury such as playing sport or even gardening and rest the affected area. As your symptoms lessen you can return to your regular activities.
You may find paracetamol and ibuprofen help to ease the pain and you may want to apply an ice pack to the affected area. If you are suffering a more persistent injury, often the case in tendonitis and tendinopathy then you will need to seek further medical advice.
You may be referred for specialist therapy or you may be provided with stronger painkilling treatment such as corticosteroid injections. You may find a physiotherapy referral helps and in rare cases surgery may be recommended to help bring an end to a long term injury and get you back to full health. These are all things you can discuss in consultation.
Make an appointment to discuss your tendon
To discuss any concerns you have about your tendon and to make an appointment with Dr Stephanie Barrett please just get in touch.