Tendonitis – What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon. A tendon is a strong tissue that helps attach your muscle to your bone. Tendonitis, also called tendonitis, often results from irritation and overstretching or pulling of the tendon.

What causes tendonitis?

Tendonitis can occur because of irritation from constant friction between your tendon and another tissue such as a bone. A sudden, jerking movement can result in over-pulling of the tendon, which may result in minor or major tears. Tendonitis may also result from overusing your muscles, which may result in small tendon tears and weakening of the tendon.

Where does tendonitis occur?

Any of your tendons can become inflamed. The type of tendonitis that you get often depends on your activity.
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis

    Your rotator cuff is located in your shoulder. Rotator cuff tendonitis can result from repetitive throwing activities or overhead movements.

  • Elbow tendonitis

    Two common types of elbow tendonitis are tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Repetitive elbow and forearm movements can result in elbow tendonitis.

  • Wrist tendonitis

    You have several tendons passing over your wrist joint, at the back and front of your wrist. Wrist tendonitis can happen during forceful or repetitive movements of the wrist and hand.

  • Quadriceps tendonitis

    Your quadriceps is a group of muscles located in your front thigh connected to your kneecap and lower leg through the quadriceps tendon. Quadriceps tendonitis can result from too much or forceful jumping and running. In some cases, a direct blow to the tendon can result in tendonitis.

  • Hamstring tendonitis

    Your hamstring muscles are located at the back of your thigh. Any of your hamstring muscle tendons can become injured, resulting in inflammation. The condition is common in people who perform sudden or forceful jumping, running, and kicking activities.

  • Achilles tendonitis

    Achilles tendonitis can occur because of overuse (repetitive movements) or result from a sudden burst of movement that forcefully pulls on the Achilles tendon. Your Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body located at the back of your leg. People who perform running activities are at risk for the condition.

    Achilles tendonitis is also referred to as Achilles tendinopathy.

What are the common symptoms of tendonitis?

The symptoms that you experience depend on the severity of your injury. Common symptoms of tendonitis may include
  • Pain and tenderness at the site of your injury
  • Swelling
  • Bruising if small blood vessels are damaged as well
  • Difficulty moving your injured limb.

What you can do

Here are some things that you can do to help manage your minor tendonitis symptoms
  • Stop your activity and protect your injured limb from further injury.

  • Wrap an ice pack or bag with clean towel and apply on your injured tendon for 15 to 20 minutes. You may need to reapply every three to four hours for the first two to three days following your injury.

  • Lightly wrap your injury with an elastic bandage and elevate your limb.

  • Taking pain medication may also help.

If you experience severe symptoms following your injury or you are unsure of the severity of your injury, do not hesitate to seek medical help.


The treatment that you will receive will depend on the severity of your injury. Treatment options may include rest, ice and or heat, ultrasound therapy, exercises, and physiotherapy.

Your doctor may recommend surgery to repair a severely damaged tendon. You may be immobilized for quite some time following your surgery. After your tendon has healed, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy to help you improve your range of motion, muscle strength and help you prepare for your return to your usual activities and sport.

See Also


Conditions and Injuries l All About Physiotherapy

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