8 Different Types of Tendonitis: Causes and Treatments

8 Different Types of Tendonitis: Causes and Treatments

Your tendons are sturdy tissue cords that connect your muscles to your bones and make you mobile. When your tendons become inflamed and painful, you have a condition called tendonitis. 

Since your body has a whopping 1,320 tendons, any of your joints can be affected.

At Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation in Manhattan, Billy Reilly, MS, PT, and Paul LaRosa, MS, PT, help our patients with tendonitis get relief from their discomfort and enjoy improved mobility. 

We’re dedicated to your healing and approach tendonitis with a blend of treatments to meet your specific needs. 

In addition to physical therapy, conservative treatments that can successfully address all of these types of tendonitis include over-the-counter pain medications, rest, and sometimes,  ice or heat therapy and steroid injections. 

Shoulder tendonitis

This type stems from inflammation of the rotator cuff, which keeps your arm in your shoulder socket. It develops from repetitive motions with your arms, particularly when you raise them above your head. 

You’re susceptible to tendonitis if you participate in sports like swimming, baseball, or tennis or work at jobs like construction or painting. 

Physical therapy plays a key role in healing, too. We may work with you on stretching exercises to increase your range of movement and provide ultrasound therapy or noninvasive electrical stimulation (e-stim) therapy. Some patients require surgery.

Peroneal tendonitis

Peroneal tendonitis is inflammation of either one or both of the tendons that attach your lower leg to your foot. 

Even though it’s common in people who play sports in which their ankles are worked repeatedly, you can also develop it if you’re over 40, overweight or obese, or have naturally tight tendons. An injury, like a sprain, might also be the culprit.

Certain conditions, like diabetes and osteoarthritis, can increase your risk, too. 

Effective treatments include the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method, wearing a brace or soft cast, and sometimes surgery. Physical therapy includes exercises and stretches that build strength and flexibility. Ice, heat, and ultrasound therapy can also help. 

Tibialis posterior tendonitis

This problem arises when you damage your inner ankle tendons, often due to overuse or a recent sprain or other injury. It can also affect your gait.

Shoe inserts (orthotics) and a boot or cast can provide relief, though surgery is sometimes needed. Your physical therapy team can help with massage and stretching and strengthening exercises.

Achilles tendonitis

Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles on the back side of your lower leg to your heel bone. Most affected are runners who increase their mileage suddenly or weekend warriors over 40. 

Orthotic devices or surgical repair may be necessary, but we can prescribe exercises, including a type of movement called eccentric strengthening, where you let down weight slowly from a raised position.

Hip tendonitis

Your hip flexor tendons allow you to lift your legs, but when these tendons become inflamed, you have hip tendonitis. The cause is often overworking these tendons doing activities like running and cycling without enough recovery time. 

You could also develop hip tendonitis after hip arthroscopy. 

We can offer hip flexor stretching and strengthening treatment to aid your recovery.

Knee tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, develops when you overuse the patellar tendon, which connects your kneecap to your shin bone. It most often develops during sports in which you jump and land hard. 

Elevating your knee and other conservative approaches help to ease symptoms, and so does working with one of our physical therapists on strengthening and stretching the tendon. 

Golfer’s elbow

This pain stems from the point where your forearm muscles connect with the bump on your inner elbow. But the pain can radiate to your forearm or wrist. Anyone who uses their wrists a lot can be affected, not just golfers.

Wearing a brace, conservative treatments like ice, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy — a type of regenerative medicine — can all provide relief. Physical therapy improves symptoms through strength training.

Tennis elbow

Repetitive use of the forearm muscles of the outer elbow cause this type of tendonitis, so named because tennis players use this movement. 

Conservative treatment and PRP therapy relieve pain, as does extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which involves sending gentle shock waves to the affected tendon. Sometimes surgery is necessary. 

We may recommend exercise and extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which we offer at Empire Physical Therapy. 

Our in-office state-of-the-art gym and range of treatments help heal your tendonitis pain, no matter where it is. We may recommend a combination of hands-on physical therapy, ultrasound therapy, and electric stimulation.

For a consultation, call our Midtown East office in Manhattan, New York City, at 607-602-1330 or reach out to us online.

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