Tendonitis Pain - Definition, Types and Diagnosis
Tendonitis is a very common condition that is caused by inflammation of tendons which are flexible bands of tissue that connect bones and muscles. Tendonitis is usually brought on by repetitive injury of one area. This happens more often with age since the body becomes less flexible and more prone to injury.
It can also be caused by infection, Arthritis, Gout, Thyroid Disease and Diabetes. Tendonitis is most often felt in knees, elbows, shoulders, wrists, hips or ankles.
Tendonitis effects people who perform repetitive motions or place a high amount of stress on their joints. Athletes, gardeners, musicians, dentists and carpenters are at high risk for Tendinitis. Some names for Tendonitis are associated with the sport where a repetitive motion causes it, like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow or swimmer’s shoulder. Rotator cuff tendinitis causes pain in the shoulder and upper arm. Jumper’s Knee is also known as Knee tendonitis. Another common type of tendonitis takes place in the tendon connecting the muscle in the calf to the back of the heel. This is known as Achilles tendonitis. Each of these affects a different tendon in the body.
Doctors are able to diagnose tendinitis by considering the location and start of the pain, if it changes in severity through out the day, and the factors that relieve or aggravate the pain are all important clues. Therapists and physicians will use manual tests called selective tissue tension tests to determine which tendon is involved, and then will palpate (a form of touching the tendon) specific areas of the tendon to pinpoint the area of inflammation. X rays do not show tendons, but may be helpful in ruling out problems in the bone or arthritis. In the case of a torn tendon, x rays may help show which tendon is affected. The doctor may also use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a partial or total tear. MRIs detect both bone and soft tissues like muscles, tendons and their coverings (sheaths). To rule out infection, the doctor may remove and test fluid from the inflamed area.
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