Tendinitis is an inflammation (with irritation and swelling) of the structure which joins the bone with a muscle and tendon. The tendinitis is a chronic and relapse illness. This inflammation provokes the degeneration of the tendon, that is why, nowadays, the specialists use more the term tendinopathy.
An increase of the sport activity like something playfull has been grown in recent years and this kind of pathologies has been increased too.
Young and adult people are the population affected by this pathology because of repetitive effort or overloading of one part of the body. Due to this factor, some muscles work more than others debilitating the tendons’ zone. In addition, the tendinitis is considered illness of overloading and it is very frequent between the working and sport pathologies.
The adult people are affected by tendinitis because of aging of the tissues and in these cases the degeneration of tendon could occur.
The tendinitis can affect any tendon, although it is more frequent in the upper members:
- Tendinitis of the shoulder.
- Tendinitis of the elbow
- Tendinitis of the hand and wrist.
- From the waist downwards, the tendinitis of the heel or Achilles tendon.
- Tendinitis of the shoulder
It affects more the population from forty years old. The debilitation of the tendon is occurred with possibility of the lesion caused by the aging of the tissues.
Moreover, this kind of tendinitis affects also people who play baseball, tennis, climbing, swimming or it can affect those who work raising their arm. The pain is aggravated raising the arm over the head with a flexed elbow and without a movement of the shoulder. The pain can appear during palpation.
The adult people used to have tendinitis of the shoulder because of calcification (accumulation of the calcium crystal in the tendon), it stands at 3% of the cases. These patients do not suffer pain.
Tendinitis of the elbow
Like the tendons in the shoulder the tendons of the elbow can inflame and degenerate. Generally, it is caused by local traumas and an excessive activity which are produced before the degeneration because of aging of the tissue.
The most classical example of the tendinitis of the elbow is “elbow of tennis player” (epicondilitis), although this pathology is not absolutely limited for people who play this sport but it is a consequence of the local trauma or any repetitive activity which needs using muscles of the forearm.
The majority of the patients are injured when they realize some activities using effort such as gardening, transporting portfolios or suitcases and using tools like screwdriver. It is characterized by a pain in the lateral part of the elbow which radiates to the forearm. The pain increases with the activity of the muscles of the arm such as a flexion of the wrist either for picking up any object or offering resistance.
Other example is “elbow of golf player”; it is similar to the previous description of the pathology, although it affects another part of the elbow. The symptoms and signals are the same.
No so frequent very specific lesion, known as “elbow of the mountaineer” appears with a deep pain in the previous face part of the elbow (internal part of the arm), it is difficult to palpate. It corresponds to the insertion of the brachial muscle.
Tendinitis of the hand or wrist
Generally, it occurs because of overloading of the hands due to the work activity, for example, forcing position of them typing, picking up objects, wringing cloths, using continually the mouse of the computer, micro-pipette in the case of the researchers, etc.
Depending on the kind of the work activity, the pathology affects different tendons, either in the hand or in the wrist; it also can affect fingers of the hand. A common upset is a tendinitis of the thumb; the result is pain in the wrist which irradiates to the forearm and to the thumb. As time passes it increases getting worse during the night. The movement of the hand is blocked, so the pain does not permit to realize neither the activity which has provoked the tendinitis, nor any other movement of the hand aggravating and causing the loss of the strength.
In the climbing sport tendinitis is produced frequently because of the flexors of the fingers. There is a pain on the face part of the fingers of the hand which can affect one finger or some fingers. There is a pain on the face palm part of the fingers which can extend and affect the top of the wrist. The movement of the closing of the hand is painful but it is the worst when we open the hand.
Tendinitis of heel
The Achilles tendon connects two muscles of the calf to the heel. Either the young people can have the tendinitis because of an overloading (athletes, runners or walkers among them) or the sportsmen who play basketball. The adult and old people suffer this pathology because of arthritis. The pain appears when we walk or tiptoe. It is very important an immobilization of the heel with this kind of tendinitis because of high possibility of the breakdown of it due to the pressure supported by the tendon.
Proposition of treatment of the Institute of Thalassotherapy El Palasiet
The goal of the treatment is mainly to alleviate the pain and, at the same time, reduce the inflammation. This treatment will be realized by synergy between the personal trainer and physiotherapist of the center.
According to the tendinitis phase of the state the different treatments are recommended:
1- Sharp phase:
- Absolute rest of the tendon
- cryotherapy (application of the ice on the affected zone)
2- Sub-intense phase:
- Electrotherapy, US (ultrasounds), WS (short wave), electro-stimulation, laser.
- Circulatory massage or lymphatic drainage (in the lower members)
- Thermotherapy (application of marine muds, exercises in the swimming pool of the thermal centre (36ºC)
3- Remission phase: the pain disappears.
- Toning of the musculature involved into the relevant articulation
- Proprioceptive exercises with instable materials (fit ball, training in suspension…)
The toning of the musculature involved in the articulation following the key principle of the realization between 12-20 repetitions with low resistance.
Remembering proverb "prevention is better than cure", it is convenient to realize toning muscular and proprioceptive exercises to strengthen the articulations and to prepare the body thus to achieve a stability and healthy physic condition which permit us to carry out our routine activity without injuring ourselves.