Tendons themselves are cords of tough, fibrous connective tissue that attach muscles to bones. Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon. The condition may also involve the tendon sheath, usually close to where the tendon goes into the muscle. Tendons are generally healthy structures that appear glistening white to the naked eye. If you've ever carved a turkey, the tendons are the tough bands you cut through to get the drumsticks apart.

Tendinitis usually occurs in middle or old age. The condition develops when people have used the same motion over and over again for a long time. When tendinitis occurs in younger people, it is usually caused by performing the same motion very frequently over a short period of time. A classical example of tendinitis is tennis elbow. Tennis elbow gets its name because it occurs most commonly among tennis players. Tennis players may use the same swing of their arm over and over again many times during a few hours or few days.

The first symptom of the patellar tendonitis is pain in the patellar region or between the kneecap and the shinbone's tendon. During jumping or running, the pain can be noticeable and sharp, and it will continue to throb fully even while at rest. As the condition worsens, the patient may discover that the pain becomes worse as the intensity of the activity goes higher.

The Facts on Tendinitis

Tendons are bands of tissue that anchor muscles to bones. They slide back and forth as our muscles contract and our joints flex. To prevent chafing and to keep them in position, the tendons are enclosed in special coverings (sheaths) that are lubricated. When something goes wrong that prevents the tendon from moving smoothly, pain and stiffness result. When tendons are damaged and inflamed, the condition is commonly known as tendinitis. If the problem is in the lining of the tendon's sheath, it's called tenosynovitis.

Tendinitis due to overuse is most common in younger individuals and can occur in walkers, runners, or other athletes, especially in sports like basketball that involve jumping. Jumping places a large amount of stress on the Achilles tendon. Tendinitis from arthritis is more common in the middle aged and elderly population. Arthritis often causes extra bony growths around joints, and if this occurs around the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone, the tendon can become inflamed and painful.

Tennis elbow (epicondylitis) was first recognized by doctors more than 100 years ago and it is estimated that up to half of all tennis players will suffer from the condition at some point. Tennis elbow is the inflammation of the tendons in the elbow area and is caused by overuse and injury. Tennis elbow almost always effects the tendons out the outside of the elbow.

Injections: Medical practitioners often inject cortisone into the affected tendon to relieve the inflammation as well as the pain. However, there are certain side effects associated with cortisone, which must be carefully weighed before you opt for this particular type of treatment.

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