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What is tendonitis?
Your tendons are tissues that connect your muscles to your bones. If your tendons become swollen, inflamed and painful, you have a condition called tendonitis. Overextending your tendons due to exercising for too long, lifting too much weight or pushing your tendons too hard in other ways can cause tendonitis. You can avoid this by not doing too much, too fast when you start a new exercise program.
You can get tendonitis in any tendon, but it is very common in your elbow (tennis elbow) or shoulder (rotator cuff tendonitis). If you have tendonitis, you feel pain when you move the affected tendon, keeping you from enjoying activities you love.
Most of the time, tendonitis can be cured by resting your tendon, using ice to reduce pain and swelling, and limiting how much you move your tendon (sometimes with a splint). You can take over-the- counter pain medicines to feel less pain while your tendon heals.
For more severe cases, your doctor can inject steroids in your tendon to reduce swelling and pain. Physical therapy can also help you strengthen muscles around the tendon in a safe way, reducing how hard your tendon has to work and lowering your risk of having tendonitis again.
If your tendon becomes torn or very damaged, you will need surgery to repair the tendons. Usually your doctor can cut a few small incisions to repair tendon problems in a minimally invasive procedure called arthroscopy. Arthroscopy helps you heal faster, have less pain and have fewer risks of infection or bleeding than other types of surgery.
If you have arthroscopic surgery, you will still need to rest your tendon for several weeks to allow it to fully heal.
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