Tendinitis is a painful, debilitating condition that can affect nearly any part of the body. It perhaps receives the most attention when a star athlete comes down with it, but anyone can develop tendinitis, especially if their job involves repetitive tasks.
Thick cords called tendons connect our muscles to our bones. Over time, work like carpentry, house cleaning or painting can inflame or irritate a tendon, causing pain in the affected area. The pain can gradually increase, or can appear without warning.
Common sites of tendinitis include:
- Achilles tendon
- Base of the thumb
When tendinitis affects the shoulder, it can cause loss of motion. This is known as “adhesive capsulitis” or frozen shoulder.
Obviously, pain in any of these body parts would make everyday tasks more difficult. It can force the sufferer to take time off work to receive treatment and recover. People who can tie their tendinitis to their jobs may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
One risk factor for tendinitis is taking on a new physical task too quickly. This applies to sports as well as workplace activities. WebMD recommends building up your activity level slowly, to give your body time to adjust. Limit your number of repetitions at a time and avoid exerting full force.
Once tendinitis develops, rest, ice and anti-inflammatory drugs may help. If they do not, physical therapy, steroid injections and even surgery may be necessary. Symptoms such as high fever, swelling, redness, warmth or inability to move the affected area could be signs of a more serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.