Tendonitis / Impingement

Tendonitis is a general term used to describe inflammation associated with a tendon. Tendons connect muscles to bone, and inflammation of these rope-like tissues is the most common cause of soft-tissue pain. Tendonitis differs from arthritis, which refers to inflammation of a joint. Common areas of tendonitis include the shoulder (which involves inflammation at one of the tendons of the rotator cuff), the elbow (“tennis elbow” and “golfer’s elbow”), the wrist, the knee (above and below the kneecap), the back of the ankle (Achilles tendonitis) and the foot.

The onset of tendonitis can usually be attributed to overuse of the associated area. As we grow older, repetitive motion can injure the tendon where it attaches to the bone, promoting an inflammatory response by the body. This inflammation can cause “pain on motion,” swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness. This latter symptom is called “erythema” and refers to the dilation of the blood’s capillaries as part of the inflammatory process. Tendonitis can also occur in areas where calcium deposits have developed.

There are various treatment options for an inflammatory condition. These include:

  • Rest or modification of activities that cause pain
  • Over-the-counter arthritis medications
  • Prescription dose non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS)
  • Physical or Occupational therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Ice
  • Cortisone Injection therapy
  • Surgery

To learn more about your shoulder problem, please visit our patient education section. If you would like to see Dr. Matthys for your problem, visit our locations page for a clinic near you.