If you’ve played a sport all your life, you’ve probably had bouts of tendonitis; you’ve overused your elbow or shoulder in tennis, for example, to the point where you can’t play for weeks. Your profession may also lead to chronic tendonitis. If you’re a warehouse worker or painter, you may get tendonitis in your shoulder; if you use the computer all day, your hands and fingers may hurt.
Coastal Empire Orthopedics specializes in treating musculoskeletal disorders and the resulting pain. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are trained to get to the root cause of your pain and start you on a treatment plan that restores your mobility. We treat hundreds of patients with tendonitis.
What is tendonitis?
Your tendons are strong tissue bands that connect your muscles to your bones near the joints in your body. They range from small tendons in your fingers to your Achilles tendon near your heel.
Most cases of tendonitis occur from overuse of a tendon. The most common types of tendonitis occur in the elbow, shoulder, knees, and hands. If you play tennis or golf, you’ve probably had attacks of tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. These conditions are an inflammation of the tendons on the outside and inside of your elbow, respectively, where they connect to the bones.
If you’re a house painter or warehouse worker, you might develop tendonitis in your shoulder from repetitive overhead movements of your arm. If you use the computer all day, you might develop tendonitis in your hand, wrist, or fingers.
How can I avoid tendonitis?
Once you’ve had tendonitis, you want to avoid it. We’re sports medicine specialists. We understand what causes your tendonitis and recommend strategies to prevent it. Following are tips for preventing an attack of tendonitis.
Never start repetitive exercise “cold.” Always warm up your joints before using the arm, shoulder, hand, or other joints prone to tendonitis.
Always make it a practice to stretch after you use the joints that are prone to tendonitis. Your Coastal Empire Orthopedics physician shows you stretches specific to your sport or work that help prevent tendonitis. Stretching keeps blood flow coming into tendons. Gentle yoga may be a great help in preventing sore tendons.
Stop when it hurts
Instead of trying to play through the pain, stop. Take a rest and ice your joint. Pain is a sign from your body telling you something is wrong. Head home from the practice and take a time out.
Know your limits
If you’re on a sports team and have frequent practices, you’re more at risk of developing tendonitis. As you age, you’re at even more risk from overuse. Your body at 60 can’t do what it did at 30, so make accommodations for it. Pare down the number of practices in between games to avoid a flare-up that can keep you sidelined for weeks.
Instead of playing your sport to the point of tendon overuse, try cross-training with low-impact activities like biking or swimming. Your joints will thank you.
Use ergonomics at work
Perhaps you can use a lift to reach a stable position if you’re a warehouse worker who uses your shoulders all the time. If the problem is in your hands and wrists because of computer work, invest in an ergonomic chair and workstation where your arms are at a 90-degree angle when you type. A split keyboard relieves pressure on your hands and wrists; using a small laptop keyboard places your hands and fingers in an unnatural position.
Call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or book an appointment online today for relief from your musculoskeletal pain.