What Every Athlete Should Know About Tendonitis

Tendonitis may not be life-threatening, but that doesn’t mean it won’t derail your life and training. Fortunately, whether you’re a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, you can protect yourself and your tendons, so you won’t end up sitting on the sidelines.

Thomas F. Saylor, MD, specializes in treating tendonitis at Orthopaedic Care Specialists in North Palm Beach, Florida. He shares these insights into what casual and elite athletes should know about this common sports injury.

Taking a closer look at tendons

Tendons are a type of connective tissue with a very specific job: They attach your muscles to your bones. 

These tough, dense bands of tissue transmit the force of your muscle contractions to your bones, which provides your body with movement. To accomplish this, they need to have the ability to stretch. However, they also provide structure and stability to your musculoskeletal system, so they only have so much flexibility. 

This unique design means tendons can become easily inflamed, irritated, or damaged from repetitive use. Athletes are especially vulnerable to tendon injuries, because athletic activities often involve unnatural, forceful, or violent movements.

Recognizing tendonitis

Tendonitis is the result of irritation and inflammation, most often from stretching the tendon too far. This can occur anywhere, but Dr. Saylor usually sees it in the wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, and Achilles tendons of athletes.

Signs of tendonitis include:

The discomfort associated with tendonitis can be sudden and severe or an intermittent nagging soreness. Anyone can get tendonitis, but it becomes more common after age 40.

Avoiding tendonitis

Treating tendonitis often requires resting the tendon to reduce inflammation and irritation. Dr. Saylor also offers innovative therapies, such as low-dose steroid injections for pain relief and platelet-rich plasma injections to accelerate the healing process. He also specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques to repair severe tendon damage.

However, despite these highly effective therapies, Dr. Saylor also knows that no one wants to take a break from the activities they love while they heal. That’s why he recommends taking steps to avoid these injuries in the first place.

As mentioned earlier, athletes are highly vulnerable to tendonitis, because many sports involve repetitive motions and unnatural or stressful movements. That means you should take precautions to protect your tendons by:

Last but not least, always stop and rest if you experience pain while engaging in an activity. This is your body’s way of telling you there’s a problem. Ignoring it could lead to a more serious injury.

Do you have tendonitis symptoms and want treatment or want more tips on avoiding injury? We can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Orthopaedic Care Specialists today.

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