Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

Understanding Tendinitis -- the Basics

Font Size
A
A
A

What Is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis is inflammation in or around a tendon, which is a band of fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone and transmits the force and action of the muscle. Tendons are designed to withstand bending, stretching, and twisting, but they can become inflamed because of overuse, disease, or injuries that leave them with torn fibers or other damage. Tendinitis around the heel is known as Achilles tendinitis, and on the outside of an elbow it's called lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow.

The pain can be significant and worsens if damage progresses because of continued use of the joint. Most tendinitis heals in about two to four weeks, but chronic tendinitis can take more than six weeks, often because the sufferer doesn't give the tendon time to heal. In chronic cases, there may be restriction of motion of the joint due to scarring or narrowing of the sheath of tissue that surrounds the tendon. 

What Causes Tendinitis?

Tendons can become inflamed when overstressed from any activity. Weekend athletes, who exercise sporadically rather than regularly, often develop sore tendons. But by far the most common cause is repetitive stress -- using the same joints for the same stressful movements again and again. This happens not only in sports but also in many types of office work and other situations. Tendons are also more likely to become inflamed with increasing age, because muscles and tendons tend to lose their elasticity over time.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 12, 2014

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

pilates instructor
15 moves that get results.
woman stretching before exercise
How and when to do it.
 
couple working out
Moves you can do at home.
woman exercising
Strengthen your core with these moves.
 
man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article