Chronic tendonitis (or chronic tendinitis) occurs when a tendon near a joint becomes inflamed, usually because of repetitive overuse. The condition will typically affects patients in the shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle and foot areas, as these are the most active and stressed joints.
Close to 4 million people in the United States seek treatment each year for symptoms of tennis elbow alone! This one of the most common locations for chronic tendonitis and is quite common among athletes. Swinging a golf club or a tennis racquet repetitively can wear on a person’s tendons and cause them to become inflamed.
Until recently, treatment options for patients with chronic tendonitis have been limited to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, and stretching exercises, but that is changing due to new treatment methods such as ultrasonic therapy and shockwave vibration therapies.
Patients with chronic tendonitis are instructed to avoid activities that aggravate the condition, as the tendon will not heal properly if it is constantly stressed through overuse. Occasionally, physicians performed surgery on patients or gave them injections of corticosteroids, but this is invasive and is a method of last resort.
The most common cause of an tendon inflammation (tenosynovitis or tendonitis) is overuse of the affected tendon. Rest of the affected tendon is all that is required in some cases. Other treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs or a steroid injection are sometimes needed. Infection of a tendon is an uncommon cause but needs treatment with antibiotics if it occurs.
What is tenosynovitis and tendonitis?
* Tendonitis means inflammation of a tendon. (It is sometimes spelled as tendinitis.)
* Tenosynovitis means inflammation of the sheath that surrounds a tendon (the sheath is called the synovium). Tenosynovitis can be caused by calcium deposits, repeated strain or trauma, high levels of blood cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or gonorrhea.
These two conditions often occur together.