Published: Nov. 11, 2010
Updated: Dec. 29, 2010
Tendons are cords of tough, flexible, fibrous connective tissue that attach muscles to bones.
Tendons are found throughout the entire human body, in all shapes and sizes. They transmit the forces of muscle contractions to the bones to enable body movement.
When tendons become inflamed, the condition is called tendonitis (tendinitis).
Related conditions include:
Tendonitis is common in people who overdo new exercises or activity, overusing their muscles and tendons. Sometimes, however, tendonitis can be caused if the tendon loses alignment -- losing its smooth path to glide along -- which can cause irritation and inflammation.
Symptoms may include tenderness of the area directly over the tendon, pain with movement, swelling of the tendon, stiffness, or a burning sensation surrounding the tendon.
Tendonitis is diagnosed through a physical examination by a doctor. While x-rays and MRIs are not usually needed to make the diagnosis of tendonitis, they may performed to ensure that there are no other problems or underlying conditions.
Typically, tendonitis is treated with rest, elevation of the problem area, and the application of an ice pack to prevent swelling and treat pain. However, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and cortisone injections may also be recommended by your doctor.
Duke Orthopaedics treats tendonitis at locations throughout North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
Watch an educational video about treatment for overuse injuries such as tendonitis.