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Tendonitis

Intro

If you have symptoms of tendinitis, see your doctor to rule out other causes of pain such as these:

  • A torn tendon
  • Infectious versus degenerative arthritis  
  • Bursitis
  • Infectious tenosynovitis

Go to an emergency department for evaluation if you experience the following:

  • Fever  
  • Increased redness
  • Worsening symptoms without relief with treatment at home
Self-Care at Home
  • Rest
  • Immobilization of affected extremity
  • Ice to affected area
  • Elevation of affected extremity
  • Use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil or Aleve)

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Other Therapy

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy has been shown to have good results in calcific tendinitis or other forms of tendinitis. Currently, it is still being studied.

Ultrasound therapy is used in some cases, but its effect has not been proven. Its greatest usefulness may be in calcific tendinitis.

Follow-up

Your doctor may give you follow-up instructions with other specialists and physical therapists.

Prevention
  • Use proper technique during sports or occupational activities.
  • Warm up and decrease overuse and repetitive motion of associated muscles.
  • Stop physical or occupational activity if there is any sign of pain.
Outlook

With treatment and if you follow your doctor's instructions, pain and swelling should go away after a few days without further problems.

Recurrences can occur if there is continued overuse, but use of splints, proper technique during exercise, and muscle strengthening exercises can usually help.

Surgical decompression may be necessary if there is chronic inflammation causing other complications.

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