A tendon is a flexible, fibrous tissue that connects the muscles to the bones in your body. These skeletal muscles move the bones in order to facilitate movement needed to perform activities like walking, jumping, and lifting among others. Movement is achieved when a muscle contracts. The contraction of these muscles is caused by tendons. Tendonitis is a condition that results from an inflammation of a tendon. It may also be due to an irritation of the tendons. As a repetitive stress injury, tendonitis may occur due chronic strain or overuse of a tendon. A traumatic injury resulting in weakness, tear, or swelling of the tendon tissue is one of the common causes of tendonitis.
When one has tendonitis he or she may experience pain and stiffness in the tendons around the affected area. There may also be a burning sensation throughout the entire joint. The pain is usually worse when there is an activity involving the affected tendon. Eventually, due to stiffness, there may be a loss of motion in the affected joint. This is usually a day after the injury.
Tendonitis may occur on any tendon attached to a joint in the body. It is however quite common at the thumb, elbow, knee, at the hip, and the wrist. There are actually hundreds of tendons in your body but tendonitis commonly affects a small number of them predominantly. These are tendons located in areas with poor blood supply. Low blood supply means that tissue damage is prevalent and there is a higher likelihood of poor healing processes in these areas. In such areas where blood supply to the tendons is at its weakest, sometimes called the watershed zone, there may be higher potential for injury.
Besides being a repetitive stress injury, tendonitis might arise from an anatomical condition. For example if it does not have a smooth path to glide on, the tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Prevalence of tendonitis is found among people aged between 40 and 60 years.
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