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Tendinitis can affect anyone, even if athletes are not the only ones affected, many are those who suffer or have suffered from tendonitis. Often long to heal and difficult to prevent, they are a real plague for intensive athletes.
To try to avoid them, we must first understand what tendonitis is, what muscles can affect it, and what are its symptoms and their causes.
What is tendinitis?
The tendon is the fibrous part that links the muscle to the bone. It is placed in a sheath within which it slides, this sliding is facilitated by a lubricating fluid secreted by the sheath, synovial fluid, or synovium. Tendinitis is part of musculoskeletal disorders and is characterized by inflammation of the tendon and its lining. This inflammation causes the tendon to become painful, making the gestures of everyday life difficult.
Our body is made up of a large number of tendons, most do not get inflamed. However, it is found that the tendons of certain muscles are regularly affected by tendinitis:
- the muscles of the carpal channel (wrist)
- the muscles of the elbow, causing the “tennis elbow” or “tendinitis of the golfer”
- the rotator cuff muscles (shoulders)
- the calcaneal tendon (Achilles tendon)
- Tensioners of the fascia lata (knees) cause patellar tendonitis
- the muscles of the “gooseneck” (knee), in particular for cyclists
What are the symptoms of tendinitis?
Tendinitis is easily identified by the pain that is felt when palpating the tendon and by the tension of the muscle of that tendon, by the sensation of seizure during the movements that make it work, and by the pains caused by the change of time. Sometimes, the skin becomes red and warm when it touches the site of inflammation.
The pains noted are different depending on the severity of the tendonitis:
- Type 1 tendinitis: pain appears when the tendon begins to work but disappears when one moves
- Type 2 tendonitis: the pain persists and increases throughout the effort
- type 3 tendinitis: pain is present beyond effort, bothers everyday gestures, and prevents training.
The causes of tendinitis
Tendinitis can be caused by several reasons which can often be avoided. The most frequent causes are too important and/or unusual work of the tendon and an irregularity of the tendon due to elongation or partial tendon ruptures. In both cases, the tendon rubs against its sheath, causing irritation and the death of several cells.
However, other causes may be the source of more or less severe tendonitis:
- the bad natural vascularization of the tendons
- a bad joint position
- an incomplete heating
- a slight malformation
- important impacts during shocks or falls
- repetition of movements
- infections (dental for example)
- the misuse of the material (shoes without cushioning …)
Finally, the causes of tendinitis can be food. It can result from poor hydration, a high percentage of uric acid in the blood (this being eliminated in the urine, hence the importance of good hydration), an excess of sugar harmful to the elimination of uric acid, or an excessive consumption of certain foods with histamine (tomatoes, avocados, spinach, potatoes, cabbage, sausage, tuna, Emmental cheese …).
How to prevent Tendinitis
- Warm-up progressively for at least 10 minutes.
- If you are practicing a new sport, take a class in a specialized room or seek the help of a coach to acquire good technique.
- Equip yourself correctly according to the sport you are going to practice. Good shoes are essential to avoid tendinitis.
- Recover after the effort of stretching for a long time.
- Drink abundantly before, during, and after training.
- Rest whatever sport or activity you practice.
How to cure Tendonitis
It is important to consult a doctor as soon as you notice an unusual pain. A poorly treated tendonitis can lead to complications and can become tenacious if the tendon and sheath stick together. In this case, the mobility of the affected muscle or muscles is strongly reduced.
The best way to cure tendonitis is to put the painful tendon at rest. This must be completely immobilized for several weeks. Ice may relieve pain but should not be applied for more than 20 consecutive minutes on the inflamed tendon. Your doctor can also prescribe analgesics or physiotherapy sessions. Cortisone infiltrations are also effective in treating short-term tendonitis.
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