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  • Writer's pictureWesley Prent

Tendinitis: Causes, Treatments, and the Importance of Medical Attention

Updated: May 28

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Tendinitis, also known as tendonitis, is a common condition characterized by the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, which is the thick fibrous cord that attaches muscle to bone. This condition often results in pain and tenderness just outside a joint, making it difficult to move the affected area.

What Causes Tendinitis?

Tendinitis typically arises from repetitive motion and overuse, although it can also be caused by sudden, acute injuries. Common activities that may lead to tendinitis include:

  • Sports that involve repetitive movements, such as tennis, golf, or running

  • Occupations that require repetitive tasks, such as painting, gardening, or carpentry

  • Poor posture or improper technique in physical activities

  • Aging, which can lead to decreased tendon elasticity

Common sites for tendinitis include the shoulders (rotator cuff tendinitis), elbows (tennis elbow), wrists, knees (patellar tendinitis), and heels (Achilles tendinitis).

Recognizing Symptoms of Tendinitis

The primary symptom of tendinitis is pain at the site of the tendon and surrounding area. Other symptoms may include:

  • Tenderness and swelling

  • Increased pain during movement

  • A grating or crackling sensation with movement of the tendon

Treating Tendinitis

Early treatment is crucial to prevent chronic issues. Here are some effective treatments for tendinitis:

injured Knee
  1. Rest: Allow the affected tendon to heal by avoiding activities that aggravate the condition.

  2. Ice: Apply ice packs to reduce inflammation and pain.

  3. Compression and Elevation: Use compression bandages and elevate the affected limb to decrease swelling.

  4. Medication: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help manage pain and inflammation.

  5. Physical Therapy: Engaging in exercises designed to strengthen and stretch the affected tendon can aid in recovery.

  6. Corticosteroid Injections: For severe cases, a doctor may recommend injections to reduce inflammation.

  7. Surgery: In rare, persistent cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the tendon.

The Importance of Consulting a Doctor

While many cases of tendinitis can be managed with at-home treatments, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional if:

  • Pain persists despite rest and home care

  • There is significant swelling or bruising

  • You experience sudden, severe pain or loss of motion

A doctor can accurately diagnose the condition, rule out other potential issues, and provide a tailored treatment plan. Without proper medical intervention, tendinitis can become chronic, leading to long-term pain, decreased mobility, and potential tendon rupture, which often requires surgical repair and prolonged rehabilitation.

Long-Term Costs and Insurance Coverage

Ignoring tendinitis can result in chronic pain and dysfunction, potentially leading to more invasive treatments and extended periods off work, which can be financially burdensome. Long-term costs may include:

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  • Frequent doctor visits

  • Extended physical therapy sessions

  • Expensive surgical procedures

  • Long-term use of medications

Fortunately, many health insurance plans cover the costs associated with tendinitis treatment, including doctor consultations, physical therapy, medication, and, if necessary, surgery. It is advisable to review your insurance policy and understand the extent of your coverage, including any out-of-pocket costs.


Tendinitis is a painful and potentially debilitating condition that requires timely and effective treatment. Understanding its causes, recognizing symptoms early, and seeking professional medical advice can prevent long-term complications and facilitate a quicker recovery. With appropriate management and the support of health insurance, those suffering from tendinitis can reduce their financial burden and focus on regaining their mobility and quality of life.

If you suspect you have tendinitis, don't delay—consult a healthcare provider to ensure you get the right treatment and avoid long-term issues. Your health and well-being are worth it.

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