Understanding Chronic Tendonitis
Many people suffer from chronic tendonitis and have never been properly diagnosed. Tendonitis is a condition in which one’s tendon has become inflamed due to an injury or repetitive use. A person who experiences tendonitis in a particular area on a recurring basis is likely to have chronic tendonitis. Allowing tendonitis to recur can lead to long term and even permanent damage, so it is important that the necessary treatments and precautions are taken to avoid this possibility.
Causes of Chronic Tendonitis
Tendonitis can be caused by a number of things. A majority of the patients who are diagnosed with this condition are athletes who put forth a great deal of repetitive strain on certain tendons, such as tennis players, runners, and football players. Athletes are not the only ones subject to chronic tendonitis, however. This condition is also commonly caused by arthritis, injury (especially an old injury which did not heal properly), incorrect posture, failing to stretch before exercise, and even aging. Any of these factors could result in putting too much stress on the tendon on a regular basis, thus resulting in a variation of tendonitis which keeps coming back.
Symptoms of Tendonitis
Due to the presence of inflammation, the symptoms of tendonitis can often be mistaken for other injuries. The most noticeable symptom is pain or discomfort in the area whenever pressure or movement occurs. This can be weight lifting, doing everyday chores, or even walking. Eventually the area is likely to become swollen and red. It may also feel warm to the touch. All of these sensations occur as a result of the increased blood flow to the area. Some people experience a burning sensation; however this may not always be present. If tendonitis is left to develop further, either as a result of failing to treat the condition or by continuing to use the tendon, pain can begin to occur whether the tendon is in use or still. The tendon may also become stiff making movement limited or difficult. This is usually a sign that further damage has occurred and treatment should begin immediately.
Treating Chronic Tendonitis
The usual treatment for tendonitis involves the “RICE” method. This means Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. As soon as the tendonitis begins to flare up, one should immediately stop using the tendon and sit or lie down to rest the area. One should then apply an ice pack to the area for about twenty minutes. An ice pack can be created by filling a zip-top bag with ice. The bag should then be wrapped in a tea towel or cloth and then held firmly against the affected tendon. During the first 24 hours, ice can be applied every four hours or so. Ice should not be applied too often as this could result in cellular damage similar to that which occurs in the early stages of frost bite. The ice will help to minimize swelling as well as take the edge off of the pain. The area should then be compressed using ace bandage or a similar device. This plays an important role of cutting down on swelling and add extra stability to the area until it begins to heal. Finally, one should elevate the area to discourage excess blood flow to the area, again cutting back on swelling, stiffness, and discomfort.
In order to treat chronic tendonitis, the abovementioned treatment measures should begin as soon as the tendonitis begins to flare up. It is also important to identify why the tendon keeps becoming inflamed and to take it easy whenever possible. Make sure that any exercise performed is carefully done so that overstretching does not occur, and always take care to use proper posture when walking, exercising, or playing sports to minimize injuries.