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Tendinitis

Inflammation or irritation of a tendon.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

About Tendinitis

A tendon is a flexible band of fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon. Tendons transmit the pull of the muscle to the bone to cause movement. They are found throughout the body, including the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Tendons can be small, like those found in the hand, or large, like the Achilles tendon in the heel.

Bursitis is commonly caused by overuse or direct trauma to a joint. Bursitis may occur at the knee or elbow, from kneeling or leaning on the elbows longer than usual on a hard surface, for example. Tendinitis is most often the result of a repetitive injury or motion in the affected area. These conditions occur more often with age. Tendons become less flexible with age, and therefore, more prone to injury.

People such as carpenters, gardeners, musicians, and athletes who perform activities that require repetitive motions or place stress on joints are at higher risk for tendinitis and bursitis....Read more about Tendinitis NIH - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Deep transverse friction massage for the treatment of lateral elbow or lateral knee tendinitis

We conducted an update of the review of the effects of deep transverse friction massage (DTFM) for people with lateral elbow or knee tendinitis. We found two studies (no new additional studies in this update) with 57 people.

What is the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of conservative interventions for tendinopathy? An overview of systematic reviews of clinical effectiveness and systematic review of economic evaluations

This study aims to summarise the evidence concerning the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of conservative interventions for lateral elbow tendinopathy (LET). Clinical effectiveness evidence continues to suggest uncertainty as to the effectiveness of many conservative interventions for the treatment of LET. Although new randomised controlled trial (RCT) evidence has been identified with either placebo or active controls, there is uncertainty as to the size of effects reported within them owing to small sample size. Conclusions regarding cost-effectiveness are also unclear. Future work should be on conducting large scale, good-quality clinical trials using a core set of outcome measures (for defined time points) and appropriate follow-up. Subgroup analysis of existing RCT data may be beneficial to ascertain whether or not certain patient groups are more likely to respond to treatments.

The efficacy of sclerosing injections in the treatment of painful tendinopathy

Bibliographic details: Wilde B, Havill A, Priestley L, Lewis J, Kitchen S.  The efficacy of sclerosing injections in the treatment of painful tendinopathy. Physical Therapy Reviews 2011; 16(4): 244-260 Available from: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/ptr/2011/00000016/00000004/art00003

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Summaries for consumers

Deep transverse friction massage for the treatment of lateral elbow or lateral knee tendinitis

We conducted an update of the review of the effects of deep transverse friction massage (DTFM) for people with lateral elbow or knee tendinitis. We found two studies (no new additional studies in this update) with 57 people.

Glyceryl trinitrate patches for rotator cuff disease

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of glyceryl trinitrate patches on rotator cuff disease (RCD).

Physical tests for shoulder impingement in primary care

Impingement (or pinching) of soft‐tissues in or around the shoulder is a common cause of pain and is often linked to tissue damage in and around the joint. If doctors and therapists could identify impingement and associated damage using simple, physical tests, it would help them to inform on the best treatment approach at an early stage. We were particularly interested in the primary (community) care setting, because this is where most shoulder pain is diagnosed and managed. We reviewed original research papers for evidence on the accuracy of physical tests for shoulder impingement or associated damage, in people whose symptoms and/or history suggest any of these disorders. To find the research papers, we searched the main electronic databases of medical and allied literature up to 2010. Two review authors screened assessed the quality of each research paper and extracted important information. If multiple research papers reported using the same test for the same condition, we intended to combine their results to gain a more precise estimate of the test's accuracy. We included 33 research papers. These related to studies of 4002 shoulders in 3852 patients. None of the studies exclusively looked at patients from primary care, though two recruited some of their patients from primary care. The majority of studies used arthroscopic surgery as the reference standard. There were 170 different target condition/index test combinations but only six instances where the same test was used in the same way, and for the same reason, in two studies. For this reason combining results was not appropriate. We concluded that there is insufficient evidence upon which to base selection of physical tests for shoulder impingement, and potentially related conditions, in primary care.

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Terms to know

Achilles Tendinitis
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that makes the tendon swell, stretch, or tear.
Bursitis
Inflammation or irritation of a bursa, the fibrous sac that acts as a cushion between moving structures of bones, muscles, tendons or skin.
Inflammation
Redness, swelling, pain, and/or a feeling of heat in an area of the body. This is a protective reaction to injury, disease, or irritation of the tissues.
Rheumatologist
Doctors who diagnose and treat diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons, including arthritis and collagen diseases.
Tendons
Tough, fibrous, cord-like tissue that connects muscle to bone or another structure, such as an eyeball. Tendons help the bone or structure to move.

More about Tendinitis

Photo of an adult

Also called: Tendonitis, Tennis elbow, Golfer's elbow, Pitcher's shoulder, Swimmer's shoulder, Jumper's knee

Other terms to know: See all 5
Achilles Tendinitis, Bursitis, Inflammation

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