Tendinitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, causing pain and tenderness around a joint, often due to repetitive strain or injury.

The basics

Tendinitis is a common medical condition that occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Tendons are tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Repetitive motions, such as overuse or sudden, excessive strain, can cause tendons to become inflamed, leading to tendinitis.

Tendinitis can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or occupation. However, it is more common in individuals who participate in repetitive or strenuous activities, such as athletes, construction workers, and musicians. The symptoms of tendinitis include pain, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. If left untreated, tendinitis can lead to chronic pain and limited mobility. However, with proper treatment, including rest, ice, physical therapy, and medications, most people with tendinitis can recover fully and return to their normal activities.

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The specific presentation of tendinitis can vary depending on the location of the affected tendon. Common symptoms of tendinitis include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion
  • Swelling and warmth around the tendon
  • Weakness in the affected muscle
  • A popping or cracking sound when moving the affected joint
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Therapies & treatments


Physiotherapy can be helpful in treating tendonitis, particularly if it is a chronic or recurring condition. A physical therapist can develop an exercise plan to strengthen the affected tendon and surrounding muscles, as well as improve flexibility and range of motion. They may also use modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation to promote healing.


Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. In more severe cases, they may prescribe stronger pain medications or steroid injections to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Orthotics and Bracing

If your tendonitis is related to an underlying structural issue, such as flat feet or a misaligned joint, your healthcare provider may recommend orthotics or a brace to help support the affected area and alleviate pain.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

PRP therapy involves injecting a concentrated solution of platelets from your own blood into the affected area, which can help to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can be helpful in reducing muscle tension and promoting blood flow to the affected area, which can help to speed up healing and alleviate pain.

Dry Needling

Dry needling involves inserting a thin needle into a trigger point in the affected muscle or tendon to stimulate healing and alleviate pain. It is often used in conjunction with other treatments such as physical therapy or massage therapy.

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Self-care strategies

Rest and recovery

Allow the affected area to rest and heal. Avoid repetitive motion or activities that cause pain. Ice the area for 15-20 minutes at a time, 3-4 times per day to reduce inflammation and pain.

Gentle stretching

Stretching can help improve mobility and reduce pain. However, it is important to avoid stretching too aggressively, which can worsen symptoms. Work with a physiotherapist to develop a safe and effective stretching routine.

Use proper ergonomics

Poor posture and ergonomics can contribute to tendinitis. Make sure your workstation is properly set up, and use proper posture when sitting or standing for long periods of time. Use proper lifting techniques, and avoid repetitive motions whenever possible.

Modify activities

Avoid activities that cause pain or discomfort, and modify activities to reduce the strain on the affected tendon. For example, if you have tendinitis in your shoulder, use your other arm to lift heavy objects or use a cart or dolly to transport heavy items.

Manage stress

Stress can make symptoms of tendinitis worse. Practice stress management techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness, to help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Consider incorporating regular exercise or physical activity, which can help reduce stress and improve mood.

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