Tendons are the strong tissues that attach muscles to your bones. Tendonitis is an injury, often due to overuse, that causes the affected tendon to become inflamed.
Tendinosis is chronic (long-term) tendonitis. Some tendons are covered by a tendon sheath (synovium) which contains fluid (synovial fluid) to allow them to glide easily. Tenosynovitis is when there's damage to this sheath.
The most common types of tendonitis are:
Tendonitis is common in middle-aged people who do a lot of sport. It also occurs if you do a lot of repetitive tasks at work.
You’re also more likely to have tendonitis if you have some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In some cases, there’s no obvious cause (idiopathic).
You can treat a mild tendon injury at home and it should improve in two to three weeks. More serious injuries can take a few months.
Symptoms of tendonitis include:
You should see your doctor if:
Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and examine you to diagnose tendonitis or tenosynovitis. They'll check for tenderness and pain when you move the tendon.
In most cases, you won’t need any more tests. However, your doctor may arrange for blood tests if they think there may be an infection.
They may also arrange for an X-ray, ultrasound scan or an MRI scan to rule out other conditions.
You may be able to treat yourself at home to bring down swelling and support the injured area.
Your doctor may also arrange for you to have physiotherapy or in some cases, your doctor may advise: