Tendons connect muscles to bones; they are made of thick bands of collagen and have a tendency to break down and tear over time. This can be from overuse, poor form in physical activity, a fall or lifting or carrying heavy objects. Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed due to micro-tears that result from repetitive movements or from a heavy, sudden force.
In tendonitis, inflammation causes pain, swelling, warmth and redness in the affected area and decreased strength and flexibility. Common areas of tendonitis are the shoulder, elbow, wrist and thumb, hip, knee and ankle.
This condition can be treated initially at home, but if symptoms persist, intervention from a physician or physical therapist may be necessary to heal the tendon. For those who prefer to try self-care first (if you don’t have health insurance for example), there are multiple options, although all may not be equally as effective for everyone.