Where does tendonitis develop?
Tendons, made of a material known as collagen, help to connect muscle and bone together. This collagen, a connective tissue, is a key component in the body. It is known as a connective tissue thanks to its construction similar to the strands present in rope. Much like those rope strands, strands of collagen form together. The more strands of collagen present, the more able they are to form together and, in turn, the stronger they are. The tendon and collagen are paired together and enveloped in a thin, slick material known as the tendon sheath. This tendon sheath gives the tendon the ability to slide against other tissues without friction.
Since large portions of the body contain tendons, tendons can be injured in a variety of ways. The injury can be where the tendon attaches to the bone, to the tendon sheath, or to the actual tissues of the tendon itself. Since they can widely vary, medical professionals will use varying terminology to refer to different tendon injuries based on the injury itself and where it is in the body.
Although these injuries can present themselves almost anywhere in the body, medical professionals most often see tendonitis in a few specific regions, which we can discuss further.
Achilles tendonitis forms as a result of injury to the Achilles tendon. All three parts of the tendon (the sheath, the actual tissue of the tendon, and where it attaches to the bone) can all be damaged by injury to the Achilles Tendon.
Damage to the Achilles tendon, found within the lower portion of the leg, is a significant injury. Injured Achilles tendons have a much more severe risk of rupturing due to weight that is mistakenly placed on it by an injured individual while walking.
Related Document: Hicksville Physical Therapy’s Guide to Achilles Tendon Problems
Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
The form of tendonitis caused by injury to the inside edge of the ankle, expanding into the instep of the foot, is known as posterior tibial tendonitis.
This is most often caused by deterioration to the area, frequently because of age. When this particular tendon breaks, the arch of the foot can become flattened and quite painful.
Related Document: Hicksville Physical Therapy’s Guide to Posterior Tibial Tendon Problems
Patellar and Quadriceps Tendonitis
Issues within the tendons of the knee most frequently happen in people who have an exercise regimen involving either jumping or running. Patellar tendonitis can also be referred to as jumper’s knee.
De Quervain's Disease and Trigger Finger
Because the hand and wrist are so frequently used, tendon injuries are frequent in both of these areas. A form of injury, De Quervain’s Disease, causes pain in the area between the wrist and the thumb.
Trigger Finger typically causes discomfort and pain in the palm of the hand in the area between the wrist and the knuckles. Over time, this can lead to issues with hand movement.
Related Document: Hicksville Physical Therapy’s Guide to Trigger Finger and Trigger Thumb
Also referred to as tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis generally affects the outside tendons of the elbow that attach to the bone. These injured tendons cause pain when utilizing either the wrist or the hand.
Also referred to as golfer’s elbow, medial epicondylitis generally affects the inside tendons of the elbow that attach to the bone. These injured tendons cause pain when utilizing either the wrist or the hand.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
Rotator cuff issues span a wide range of severity from mild damage to complete tears. With a complete tear, pain is much more severe and can cause issues even while resting the rotator cuff. More often than not, the area around the injured joint becomes tight, potentially misaligned, or even weak. Despite a rotator cuff injury, some of the pain may be due to the surrounding tissues and not the damaged tendon itself.