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Tendonitis: Symptoms, prevention and treatment

What is tendonitis?

Tendons are the soft tissue, cord-like structures in the body that attach muscles to bones. With repetitive stress on the area or a more sudden, serious injury, these tendons may become inflamed, a condition called tendonitis. Common areas where you get tendonitis are at the base of the thumb, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and the Achilles tendon.


Symptoms of tendonitis

The most common symptoms of tendonitis are pain at the site of the affected tendon and surrounding area, along with some swelling and redness.


Preventing tendonitis

The best way to prevent tendonitis is to ease up and avoid activities that place excessive stress on your tendons, especially for prolonged periods. You should also mix it up – change up your fitness routine so that it’s not so repetitive, improve your technique and stretch and prepare your muscles for physical activity.


How is tendonitis treated?

Athletic trainers would treat tendonitis by first removing the athlete or patient from the activity that aggravates the area. It is important to rest, ice, compress and elevate the affected tendon to help with swelling and pain. After the pain and swelling is controlled, it is imperative to strengthen the muscles of the involved tendon as well as work on flexibility. When the athlete or patient can safely return to physical activity, an athletic trainer may decide to protect the area from re-injury by the use of taping techniques or braces.


• Aaron Armstrong holds a bachelor of science degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in athletic training and has been a certified athletic trainer since 2012. He also earned a master of physical education degree in athletic administration from Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID. He can be contacted at Elite Sports Medicine at the Sports, Spine and Rehabilitation Center at 327-0708.

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