Tendinitis (also called tendonitis) is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle. Tendinitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the affected area, or from a sudden more serious injury.
There are many activities that can cause tendinitis, including: gardening, raking, carpentry, painting, and shoveling, scrubbing, tennis, golf, skiing, throwing and pitching.
Incorrect posture at work or home or poor stretching or conditioning before exercise or playing sports also increases a person’s risk. Other risk factors for tendinitis, include: an abnormal or poorly placed bone or joint (such as length differences in your legs or arthritis in a joint) that stresses soft-tissue structures; stresses from other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders, or unusual medication reactions; overuse or doing too much too soon when the tendons are not used to a movement or to the task taken on. Tendinitis is common in “weekend warriors,” people that play and exercise hard only on weekends; occasionally an infection can cause tendinitis, especially infection from a cat or dog bite to the hand or a finger.
Anyone can get tendinitis, but it is more common in adults, especially those over 40 years of age. As tendons age they tolerate less stress, are less elastic, and are easier to tear. Tendinitis can occur in almost any area of the body where a tendon connects a bone to a muscle. The most common places are: base of the thumb; elbow; shoulder; hip; knee; Achilles tendon.
The symptoms of tendinitis include: pain at the site of the tendon and surrounding area [pain may gradually build up or be sudden and severe, especially if calcium deposits are present]; loss of motion of the area involved.