What is the best treatment for tendonitis?
There are a lot of different types of tendonitis, but the treatments for them aren’t so different. Sometimes just some simple stretching, or strengthening key muscles will do. In more severe cases, you may need a steroid injection. Rarely, if everything else fails, you may need surgery. Whether you have knee tendonitis, ankle tendonitis, foot tendonitis, or hand tendonitis, rest assured that with the appropriate treatment you can get better. The goal is to get you back to the activities that you want to do without any pain, whether that’s climbing Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, or just simply going for a walk.
What is a tendon, and what is tendonitis?
Your body is able to move by your muscles acting on your bones. When your muscles shorten or contract, they pull your bones in one way or another, and this allows you to move your hand to your mouth, raise your arms up, walk, or really any other activity. Your muscles attach to your bones through something called a tendon, which is almost rope-like. In other words, if your muscle wants a part of your body to move, it shortens and pulls on your bone through the tendon. Tendons are living tissues, and they can get injured. When you strain a tendon, your body responds with inflammation which causes pain. If you have tendonitis of your patellar tendon, it will hurt when you straighten out your knee. If you have tendonitis of your Achilles tendon, it will hurt when you stand on your toes. You can take this principle and apply it to any tendon in the body.
How do I get rid of my tendonitis?
The first step is to define exactly where you have tendonitis. If you have patellar tendonitis, then activity modification combined with quadriceps and hamstring stretching along with an eccentric exercise program may be enough. In rare cases if the tendonitis is bad, you may need surgery to clean and reattach the tendon. If you have Achilles tendonitis, then you would benefit from calf stretches, an eccentric exercise program, and possibly a cushion for your shoe. In both patellar and Achilles tendonitis, you want to avoid steroid injections due to the theoretical risk of tendon rupture. The fastest way to get better is to see your local orthopedic doctor who can accurately diagnose your tendonitis, and prescribe the appropriate treatment. I’m located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and I would be happy to help!
I hope I was able to answer your questions about what the best treatment for tendonitis is. If you still have any questions or want to schedule an in person or virtual consult, please feel free to contact me.
-Written by Dr. Daniel Paull