Do you have pain in your heel when you walk or run? Are you having a hard time throwing a football because of shoulder pain? You may have tendonitis. Nina Yaftali, DO, is a board-certified sports medicine physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating injuries like tendonitis at Primary Care Sports Medicine. To find out what’s causing your pain, call the office in Agoura Hills, California, or schedule an appointment online today.
Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are connective tissues that attach muscle to bone. When your muscles contract, it pulls on the tendon connected to the bone, allowing it to move smoothly and seamlessly.
However, if you have tendonitis, you feel pain during these movements. Tendonitis most often occurs from overuse or repetitive use. It usually affects the shoulder (rotator cuff tendonitis), elbow (golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow), heel (Achilles tendonitis), or wrist (wrist extensor tendonitis).
Chronic overuse and inflammation of the tendon may lead to tendinopathy, which causes chronic degenerative changes in the tendon, including thickening, scarring, and long-term pain.
Pain at the site of the inflammation is the most common symptom of tendonitis. The discomfort most often occurs when using the affected joint.
Your pain may occur suddenly and cause severe discomfort or happen all the time. Swelling, tenderness, and redness are also common symptoms of tendonitis. These symptoms are part of the inflammatory process.
It’s not uncommon to confuse tendonitis with a muscle strain. However, with a muscle strain, you feel the pain in the muscle, while tendonitis causes pain where the muscle attaches to the bone.
You can expect a comprehensive sports physical exam when you see Dr. Yaftali at Primary Care Sports Medicine with concerns about tendonitis. Dr. Yaftali takes a holistic approach to care, evaluating your whole health, not just your injury.
During your exam, she asks detailed questions about your symptoms, usual activities and training, and medical history. She does a physical exam, paying close attention to the area of your pain.
Dr. Yaftali may request onsite diagnostic ultrasound imaging to evaluate the tendon, looking for signs of thickening or scarring.
Dr. Yaftali takes a personalized and conservative approach to sports injuries. Initial treatment for tendonitis might include:
She may also recommend ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation. However, Dr. Yaftali doesn’t recommend repeating these injections because they may increase your risk of a tendon rupture.
For those with chronic symptoms, Dr. Yaftali may suggest platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
Tendonitis is a common overuse injury that affects active individuals. To see if tendonitis is causing your elbow or shoulder pain, call Primary Care Sports Medicine or schedule an appointment online today.