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Physical therapy for tendonitis

What is tendonitis?

Tendonitis (or ‘tendinitis’) is defined as the inflammation or irritation of any tendon in the body. Tendons, the thick cords attaching the muscles to the bones, can become irritated or inflamed with repetitive minor impact or with a single major impact. The most commonly affected tendons are located in the elbow, the base of the thumb, the shoulder, hip, knee, and Achilles tendon.

Pain from tendonitis can be sudden and severe, or it can build gradually over time. In severe cases, patients may experience restricted motion in the affected joint. Tendonitis is most common in patients over the age of 40, although anyone — and athletes especially — can develop the condition as a result of overuse or misuse of the tendons.

Source: WebMD

Tendonitis symptoms

The symptoms of tendonitis, which include aching, tenderness, and mild swelling, usually occur at the point where the tendon attaches to the bone. Many patients notice that this pain increases when they move the affected limb or joint. In the most severe cases, the tendon can rupture, requiring surgery.

Tendonitis goes by different names when it affects different parts of the body. Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, pitcher’s shoulder, swimmer’s shoulder, and jumper’s knee, for example, all refer to forms of tendonitis associated with the specific activities that can cause them.

The most common symptoms of tendonitis include:

  • A dull, aching pain in the affected region
  • Tenderness
  • Mild swelling

Source: Mayo Clinic

What causes tendonitis?

Because tendons become less flexible with age, most cases of tendonitis occur in patients over the age of 40. The greatest risk factor for tendonitis, however, is a job or hobby that involves repetitive motion. It’s possible for tendonitis to be caused by a sudden injury, however it’s far more likely to develop as a result of frequent and repetitive motions.

Tendonitis is quite common in patients whose jobs involve awkward positions, overhead reaching, or repetitive motions, and in patients who play baseball, basketball, golf, or tennis.

The most common causes of tendonitis include:

  • Age (over 40)
  • A job or hobby that requires frequent repetitive motion
  • Poor sports form or improper technique
  • Sudden impact or injury to the tendon

Source: Mayo Clinic

Physical therapy for tendonitis

Physical therapy for tendonitis focuses on pain relief first and restored motion later. An experienced physical therapist will begin by recommending activity modifications that can reduce the pain associated with tendonitis, and put the patient on the path to healing. Next, ice, heat, taping, splints, and manual therapy can all help to loosen the joint and stimulate change in the tissue.

Finally, a physical therapist can guide the patient through gradual exercise progressions of 5 to 10 percent per week. At this rate, the body will respond and grow stronger without becoming overloaded. Specific exercises will depend on the affected body part.

Source: SpineUniverse

Luna's physical therapists treat tendonitis across
the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County

Luna’s experienced team of physical therapists specialize in the reduction of the symptoms associated with tendonitis. With a professional regimen of passive and active treatments, patients with tendonitis can get back to the activities they love, soon and safely. Our licensed PTs will work with you to create a therapy plan that addresses your specific goals and concerns.

With Luna, patients can get tendonitis treatment at home, at the office, at the gym, or at the location of their choosing. It’s physical therapy, delivered.

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