Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. It commonly affects shoulders, elbows and knees.

What is it?

Tendonitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon — any one of the thick fibrous cords that attach muscles to bone. The condition, which causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint, is most common around your shoulders, elbows and knees. But tendonitis can also occur in your hips, heels and wrists.

Some common names for tendonitis are tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, pitcher's shoulder, swimmer's shoulder and jumper's knee.

If tendonitis is severe and leads to the rupture of a tendon, you may need surgical repair. But many times, rest and medications to reduce the pain and inflammation of tendonitis may be the only treatments you need. You can also take preventive measures to reduce your chance of developing tendonitis or to keep tendinitis from affecting your normal range of motion in joints such as your shoulder.

What causes it?

Tendons are usually surrounded by a sheath of tissue similar to the lining of the joints (synovium). They're subject to the wear and tear of aging, direct injury and inflammatory diseases. The most common cause of tendonitis is injury or overuse during work or play. The pain is usually the result of a small tear in or inflammation of the tendon that links your muscles to your bone. Tendonitis can also be associated with inflammatory diseases that occur throughout your body, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the symptoms?

Tendonitis produces the following signs and symptoms near a joint that is aggravated by movement:

  • Pain.
  • Tenderness.
  • Mild swelling, in some cases.

Are there any natural therapies?

  • Fish oil capsules (EPA-DHA) will help to reduce any inflammation.
  • Vitamin C and zinc will assist your body's ability to heal itself.
  • Apply a cold compress to the affected area for ten minutes every hour.

What else can I do?

To reduce your chance of developing tendonitis, follow these suggestions:

  • Ease up – don't push yourself too much.
  • Mix it up – mix up your activites.
  • Improve your technique.
  • Stretch first..

Did you know?

You have a greater risk of developing tendonitis if you perform excessive repetitive motions of your arms or legs. For instance, professional baseball players, swimmers, tennis players and golfers are susceptible to tendinitis in their shoulders, arms and elbows. Soccer and basketball players, runners and dancers are more prone to tendon inflammation in their legs and feet.