Tendonitis is swelling of the tendons that occurs as a result of small tears. It is one of the most common types of Repetitive Strain Injury affecting a huge proportion of computer users. With this group, the condition typically involves the tendons which move the fingers but can also affect the shoulder, elbow and ankle.
Symptoms of tendonitis
- Pain: Made worse by pressing on the associated tendon. Pain is also worse after a
period of activity
- Ache and Stiffness: In the muscles and joints of the affected area
- Muscle tension: It is unclear whether this is the cause or result of the tendon irritation
What causes tendonitis?
Tendons are capable of transmitting tremendous force from muscles yet are not designed
to do so for long periods of time. Overuse is the most common cause of microtears within
the tendon structure. Another cause is from the tendons actually rubbing against bones
creating a fraying type of irritation.
What can I do about tendonitis?
Self-help for tendonitis
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- Rest: Tendons can take up to 8 weeks to heal. As tendons are very susceptible to re-injury, this step
is vitally important.
- Gentle stretching and massage: This second phase must be done very specifically and
relative to the precise area of the injury. Reducing muscle tension lessens the constant
strain on the tendon.
- Balancing of muscle strength: Strengthening weak muscles and loosening tight muscles is
crucial to achieving full recovery.
Other similar problems
- Muscle tension: Hypertension affects not only the muscle but the tendons and joints and
sometimes even in the nerves a well. Regular stretches are very effective in keeping tension down.
- Arthritis: The wear and tear of joints can lead to pain. Arthritic joints are typically stiff and
painful but there are certain stretches which can help.
- Tendon tearing: Usually only occurs following a traumatic injury. This severe condition
may require surgery depending on the extent of the damage.
- Tenosynovitis: A condition where the tendon sheath restricts the smooth movement of the
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