Health A to Z


Could you have tendinitis? How to spot the symptoms.

Tendinitis causes, symptoms, and treatments

Did yesterday’s run leave you in agony? You may have tendinitis, or tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendons — the bands of fibres that attach muscles to bone.

Tendinitis causes Tendon fibers can tear apart due to repetitive activities, sudden injury and awkward movements. Inflamed tendons become thick and bumpy, and if recovery is not encourage through proper care and rest, the tendons can be weakened permanently. Sports with repetitive motion, such as golf, running and tennis, make a person more prone to this type of inflammation. Aging also impacts tendons, making them less flexible and more prone to injury.

Tendinitis symptoms The most common sites for tendinitis are the shoulders, elbows (“tennis elbow”), hands and wrist. Signs of tendinitis include pain, tenderness, mild swelling and possibly redness and difficulty moving.

Tendinitis diagnosis/tests Your doctor may be able to diagnose you with tendinitis during a physical exam. Or she may order imaging tests, such as X-rays if she wants to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing your pain and symptoms.

Tendinitis treatment Over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are effective for relieving the pain of tendinitis. Other treatments include rest, applying ice, stretching and strengthening exercises, and avoiding the activities that caused the disorder. Tendinitis rarely requires surgery.

Tendinitis prevention Prevent tendonitis with regular warm-ups and stretching before a workout and then stretches to cool down when you’re finished exercising. Always build up your exercises/endurance slowly and stop if you feel any pain. If you have tendonitis, avoid repetitive movements of the area and talk to a physiotherapist for advice on the best exercises and stretches for your injury.

Outside resources
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety