ZocdocAnswersWhat causes tendonitis?

Question

What causes tendonitis?

How did I get tendonitis? Is it just from using the same muscle too much? I got it in my knee a few years ago and now I have it in my elbow. I don?t know why I keep getting tendonitis...

Answer

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons. As you described, it frequently occurs in the tendons that you have "too much" repetitive actions. Most often, athletes get tendonitis in the calves or achilles tendons. It is very common in runners and basketball players, but it could happen in any of the other muscle groups. For instance, tennis players and baseball pitchers will often get tendonitis in their elbows and shoulders. It is not clear what type of work or exercise you do and what risk factors you have for tendonitis. Also, is it really in your tendons and not in your joints? Is it just one side or is it bilateral? Is it on the inside or on the outside of your elbow? Is there swelling, warmth, redness where you have the pain? Could this be arthritis or bursitis? Arthritis is also quite common, especially in the knees in the heavy set individuals and those who do a lot of physical exertion on hard surfaces. That said, the most important thing to do for your pain is to get a proper diagnosis. Unless you have repetitive actions involving your knees and elbows, it is probably something else. You may try cold compresses at night and NSAIDS. If your symptoms persist, you should see a primary care physician who can assess and may refer you to a sport medicine specialist for further workup if warranted.

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