Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Costa Navarro
(March 26, 2020)
What are tendinitis and tenosynovitis
Tendons are fibrous structures by which muscles attach themselves to the bone that they have to move. Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon, while we talk about tenosynovitis when there is inflammation of the sheath that lines the tendon. Tendinitis and tenosynovitis are often present simultaneously, and are common especially in the shoulders, heels and elbows. The cause of inflammation is unknown; they can often be the cause of repeated small traumas, excessive efforts and unusual exercises, especially if performed incorrectly. Tendon bundles are affected in some systemic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, gout and others) and when blood cholesterol levels are particularly high.
How it manifests itself
Pain can be of varying degrees and can occur spontaneously, be produced by palpation, and by active or passive solicitation. Tendons affected by inflammation can be visibly swollen.
What should be done
- Set the affected tendon to rest.
- Apply the ice pack in the first 12-24 hours, wrapped in a piece of canvas. Then apply an adequate heat source (gauze compresses soaked in hot water, infrared lamps, etc.).
- It may be necessary to take or administer anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by the doctor.
When to seek medical attention
When pain and swelling increase despite treatment.