Tendinitis: what to do?

Tenosynovitis (Tendovaginitis) can have various causes - usually a persistent monotonous movement is the cause of the discomfort. Typical symptoms are severe pain, which can occur during exercise, but also at rest. If a tendonitis is treated properly, it usually heals itself after a few days. It is particularly important that the affected joint is spared. Otherwise, a chronic course of inflammation is possible.

Tendonitis on hand and elbow

In heavily loaded areas tendons are protected by an envelope - the so-called tendon sheath - from excessive wear and friction. Inside the case is synovial fluid, which allows the tendon to slide back and forth easily.

If the tendons are stressed, the surrounding tendon sheath is also affected and inflammation may develop. Such tendonitis occurs particularly frequently on the thumb, hand, elbow or shoulder. In principle, however, any tendon can inflame, for example, on the knees or feet.

Computer work and sport as a cause

The cause of tendonitis is usually repetitive, monotonous movements. This is often the case with computer work - such as when using the mouse or the keyboard. But even musicians or craftsmen who always perform the same movements (especially with hands and arms) are often affected.

In addition, an overload in sports as a trigger in question. Typical sports that can cause inflammation of the tendon sheath are:

  • floor Exercise
  • golf
  • Climb
  • tennis

In these sports, the symptoms usually occur in the area of ​​the hand, elbow or shoulder.

Finally, various household activities can trigger tendonitis. Thus, the overload can be triggered by unfamiliar activities such as renovations, gardening and a move.

Infections and diseases as a trigger

In rare cases, behind a tendonitis is no overload, but an infection with pathogens such as chlamydia, gonococci or mycoplasma.

In addition, diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can trigger tendonitis.

Symptoms of tendonitis

Typical for a tendonitis are severe pulling or stinging pain in the affected tendon. It is often the case that the hand or the shoulder hurts with every movement. Sometimes the pain occurs in peace.

In addition, redness and swelling may indicate tendonitis. If there is severe thickening of the tendon sheath, a small bump appears under the skin. When moving the tendon may also sometimes crunchy sounds occur. This is called snowball crunching.

Carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis

The symptoms associated with tendonitis are often similar to those of the carpal tunnel syndrome. In the carpal tunnel syndrome, however, there is damage to the median nerve, which runs in the area of ​​the wrist. This damage to the nerve is caused by increased pressure within the carpal tunnel.

A tendonitis is a possible cause of the increased pressure in the carpal tunnel. In addition to the median nerve, various tendons also run through the tunnel. If tendon inflammation swells on the affected tendon, the space in the carpal tunnel is reduced and the nerve can be damaged. Typical symptoms are then pain and numbness in the area of ​​the fingers.

to make a diagnosis

In the case of tendonitis, the diagnosis can often already be made on the basis of the typical symptoms. In addition, the doctor can scan the appropriate place and perform some movement tests.

If no diagnosis can be made in this way, an ultrasound examination or an MRI can be performed. If there is a suspicion of rheumatic illness, a blood test is usually carried out.

Treat tendonitis

In the case of tendonitis, it is important to rest as much as possible on the affected joint, be it hand, elbow or knee. Bandages or splints can help prevent the joint from being overstressed. It is also important to avoid the activity that led to the inflammation.

The pain as well as redness and swelling can be relieved by cooling compresses. However, do not place the compress directly on the skin, otherwise frostbite may occur. For very severe pain, the use of painkillers may be considered. These often have an anti-inflammatory effect and can thus ensure a faster healing. In addition to tablets, anti-inflammatory ointments are also well-suited.

For severe ailments, the treating physician may inject a mixture of cortisone and a local anesthetic into the inflamed area. Cortisone usually speeds up the healing process. However, you should be informed in advance about possible side effects. Nevertheless, if the inflammation does not stop, an OP is the last option. In this case, the narrowed site can be split and thereby relieved.

Duration of tendonitis

If the tendon sheath is inflamed, it usually takes a few days, until the symptoms subside again. Often, the healing process depends largely on how much the affected joint is spared. In rare cases, a chronic course is possible. Then it takes a few weeks to a few months before the symptoms subside.

If the tendonitis has subsided, an intensive post-treatment is recommended. By regular physiotherapy can be prevented that the symptoms recur and the inflammation may take a chronic course. Likewise, you should try to avoid the triggering movement.

Preventive measures

With a few simple tips and tricks you can make sure that you do not have tendonitis. If you work a lot on the PC, it is important that you protect your hands and fingers:

  • Use a keyboard that is as flat as possible so that you do not have to bend your wrists too much when working.
  • Place a cushion in front of the keyboard and support the heels of the hands as you type - this relieves the strain on the wrists.
  • Use an ergonomic mouse or use the mouse for a change instead of the right one with the left hand.
  • Keep pausing and moving and stretching your wrists a bit.

In other monotonous movements, regular breaks are also recommended, in which you move and thus provide the body with a change from the repetitive movements.

To prevent sports induced tendonitis, it is important to warm up and stretch carefully before training.

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