Tendons are the tough bands of fibrous connective tissue that attach muscles to bones. They are essential for movement and stability of all limbs and joints, as well as taking some of the impact when we do forceful movements.
Tendon swelling, also referred to as tendonitis, is a common issue that can affect any tendon in your body. It can also cause significant pain and discomfort.
In this article, we will explore what it feels like to have tendon swelling, where it will typically occur, and what commonly causes it. We’ll also discuss some of the related conditions and the treatment options typically prescribed to ease the pain and swelling. Additionally, we’ll explore how Neurofunctional Pain Management is a fantastic solution that offers long-lasting pain relief without the need for medications or invasive procedures.
If you or someone you know is experiencing painful tendons, they might have tendon swelling. Don’t worry; our goal is to provide you with helpful insights so you can understand your own symptoms better and have the knowledge to choose the treatment options right for you and your lifestyle.
Let’s start by describing what tendon swelling typically feels like.
What Does Tendon Swelling Feel Like?
When it comes to tendon swelling, pain is the most common symptom. However, there are a number of other uncomfortable symptoms to look out for. The wider list of discomforts can include:
- Pain and tenderness: Swollen tendons can bring on localized pain and tenderness. This discomfort can range from mild to severe, depending on the degree of inflammation.
- Visible swelling: Tendon swelling can make the skin around it look puffy and inflamed.
- Grating sensation: Some individuals may notice a strange grating or creaking feeling during movement. This is because the inflamed tendon is rubbing against surrounding structures and causing friction.
- Lumps: Swollen tendons may form small lumps that you can feel under the skin. These lumps indicate inflammation and irritation of the area.
- Weakness: Tendon swelling can cause the tendon to weaken, causing reduced strength and making it harder to complete daily activities.
- Reduced range of motion: Inflammation can also restrict the joint’s range of motion, making everyday movements more difficult and painful.
- Skin discoloration: Sometimes, the skin over the swollen tendon can turn red and feel warm to the touch. This is from increased blood flow and inflammation in the area.
Remember, pain is your body’s warning sign that something isn’t right. So, if you are feeling pain as well as noticing swelling, weakness, or any of these other symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor to examine your symptoms and reduce the risk of further injury. Now, let’s go on to explore where swollen tendons will usually occur.
Where Does The Swelling Occur?
Swollen tendons can occur anywhere in the body, but there’s usually a reason behind it, like overuse or injury. So, the joints and structures of the body that are most susceptible are those that are exposed to repetitive movements or that face a lot of strain. These include:
- Shoulders: The four rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder can become inflamed from repetitive overhead movements or sports injuries.
- Elbows: Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are common terms for tendonitis that happens when a person does the same high-force, repetitive movements over and over.
- Wrists: De Quervain’s tenosynovitis causes swelling of the wrist and thumb tendons, making it painful to rotate the wrist or grip objects.
- Knees: The knee is a really common area for tendon swelling to occur. Patellar tendonitis occurs just below the kneecap, making it painful and challenging to move around.
- Ankles: Swelling of the Achilles tendon can be really painful, especially as it connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This can make walking, standing, and even certain sitting positions painful.
- Feet: Tendon swelling on the top of the foot often affects those who spend long hours walking, running, or standing. Once these tendons become inflamed, performing any of these tasks becomes quite a struggle.
From top to toe, these are the joints and structures of the body that get used most often in our day-to-day activities and hobbies. Let’s dig deeper into why these overactive joints and muscles end up with swollen tendons in the next section.
Common Causes Of Swelling In Tendons
Experiencing swollen tendons can be worrying, especially if you’re not completely certain of the cause. Most of the time, pain and swelling occur in the affected tendon due to irritation or damage caused by inflammation. This inflammation is the body’s way of trying to heal itself. Some of the various factors that can cause tendon swelling include:
- Repetitive motions for long periods: Doing the same repetitive activities or sports that cause strain to the same tendons over and over can lead to injury and inflammation.
- Poor posture: Holding improper posture either during work or daily activities can put added stress on the tendons involved. This leads to tendon tightness and swelling.
- Excessive physical activity: Overexertion or suddenly increasing your levels of physical activity puts tendons under increased stress and tension, causing damage and inflammation.
- Injury and strain: Injury from significant trauma like an accident or performing strenuous tasks can lead to partial or complete “tears” of the tendon, called strains. This triggers the body’s healing inflammatory response and causes tendon swelling.
- Infection: Although rare, bacterial and viral infections in close proximity to a tendon can sometimes lead to tendon inflammation.
Having a deeper understanding of these potential causes of tendon swelling helps you to better understand the cause of your symptoms and find the most suitable treatment options.
Alongside these common causes, certain medical conditions can also cause tendons to become irritated and swollen. We’ll explore these in more detail in the next section.
Possible Medical Conditions Associated With Swollen Tendons
To give you a better understanding of all the possible causes of swollen tendons, let’s explore some of the various medical conditions commonly associated with this condition. There are a number of inflammatory and musculoskeletal conditions that will put extra strain on tendons or cause localized irritation and swelling. Here are some common ones:
Tendonitis is the most common medical condition that causes swelling and inflammation of tendons. It causes acute pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility.
Tendinosis describes the chronic occurrence of tendon inflammation. Not to be confused with tendonitis, this is a long-term condition caused by ongoing degeneration and trauma that induces repetitive stress and damage, which leads to persistent tendon swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause serious and ongoing inflammation in multiple joints. When joints become damaged from chronic inflammation, it causes a release of chemicals that can also damage nearby tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects people with psoriasis. And yes, it, too, can lead to tendon inflammation. Psoriatic arthritis causes joint inflammation, as well as stiffness and pain, which puts strain on the surrounding tendons.
Ankylosing spondylitis is another type of chronic inflammatory condition that affects the spinal joints and discs, which can also expose the surrounding tendons to inflammation.
Bursitis occurs when there is inflammation of the bursae, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints and tendons. Bursitis occurs most commonly in the shoulder but can also affect the hips and elbows.
Many of these medical conditions, if left untreated, can lead to serious damage to the joints, bones, and tendons. So, it is important to know when to seek out professional help to manage the underlying problem of your pain and discomfort. Next, we will go on to discuss when it’s best to get medical assistance.
When To Seek Medical Attention
Most cases of tendon swelling are not a major concern and can be managed at home with sufficient rest. However, there are certain symptoms that you should pay attention to.
If you notice any of these symptoms, they are definitely red flags, and you should seek a medical assessment:
- Severe pain and persistent discomfort
- Inability to move the affected joint
- Redness, warmth, or skin infection in the affected area
- Fever or systemic symptoms accompanying tendon swelling
If your tendon swelling is getting worse and you’re concerned, it’s important to see a doctor for a professional diagnosis and the right treatment. In the next section, we’ll talk about how doctors typically diagnose swollen tendons.
How Are Swollen Tendons Diagnosed?
To diagnose swollen tendons, doctors will conduct a thorough physical examination and discuss any relevant medical history, as well as the nature of your symptoms and discomfort.
During the physical exam, they will assess the affected area for swelling and tenderness and to determine if there is any limited range of motion. In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans may be required to rule out any other physical abnormalities or medical conditions, such as arthritis.
Getting a timely diagnosis is essential in order to get the right treatment and prevent any further problems from arising. Additionally, treating tendon swelling promptly is the key to regaining normal joint mobility, reducing pain, and getting you back up and enjoying the activities you love.
Conventional Treatment Options
When it comes to treating tendon swelling, your doctor may suggest conventional medical treatments to help ease your pain and discomfort. Here are some of the options they might recommend:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, will help temporarily reduce the pain and inflammation associated with swollen tendons. Additionally, if you are suffering from stubborn and ongoing tendonitis, your doctor may suggest a corticosteroid injection for a more targeted relief for severe inflammation.
It’s important to note that corticosteroid injections may require repeat doses to maintain their effectiveness. However, using them repeatedly over the long term is not recommended due to the risk of side effects, such as cartilage and bone damage.
Physical Or Occupational Therapy
Both of these therapies are helpful for strengthening tendons affected by inflammation. They aim to improve stability and mobility, as well as help you make adjustments to your daily activities to prevent ongoing strain. They’re all about recovery, but keep in mind they can’t tackle the root cause of ongoing tendon swelling.
It’s important that invasive surgical procedures are regarded as a last resort. However, in severe cases, your doctor may suggest a surgical debridement or gastrocnemius recession. These procedures help to remove damaged tissue or release excessive tension on tendons.
While conventional treatments can offer relief for some, they might not provide the lasting results you’re looking for. Additionally, some individuals do not wish to take medicine for long periods, and others may explore alternative treatments before making any serious health decisions.
We believe it’s essential to find the approach that suits you best. In the next section, we’ll introduce Neurofunctional Pain Management as an effective approach to relieving swollen tendons.
Manage Pain Caused By Swollen Tendons With Neurofunctional Pain Management
Neuragenex offers a groundbreaking approach called Neurofunctional Pain Management that effectively addresses pain and inflammation caused by tendon swelling and other underlying conditions.
Our approach focuses on a safe and whole-person approach. We specialize in non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, and non-invasive pain management techniques that can improve your quality of life. These techniques include:
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Effectively Address Tendon Pain from Various Conditions with Neuragenex
Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Treatment
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Manage Pain And Reduce Swelling Of Your Tendons
Dealing with tendon swelling can be painful and really limit your daily life, but there are effective treatments and solutions. By recognizing the symptoms, understanding their causes, and exploring innovative approaches like Neurofunctional Pain Management, you can find long-lasting relief and improve your overall quality of life.
So, if you or someone you care for is going through the painful experience of tendon swelling or other sources of chronic pain, seek professional help and explore the advanced pain management solutions at Neuragenex for enduring relief.
Remember, taking early action and addressing the symptoms of tendon swelling can lead to the best outcomes and long-term results. Discover how Neuragenex and our Neurofunctional Pain Management protocol can help you find enduring relief from tendon swelling and other chronic pain conditions. Contact Neuragenex today to start your journey towards improving your health and well-being.
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