Regardless of being old or young, a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, people all seem to share a natural tendency to push themselves to perform more than they sometimes have the capability to do. Although striving to reach peak sports performance is an admirable quality, it can get you into trouble from time to time in terms of injuries.
One of the most common sports-related injuries is tendonitis. Although you can get tendonitis at any age, it typically occurs as you get older due to your tendons becoming less flexible. However, tendonitis is also one of the top overuse injuries that result in roughly half of all sports injuries that strike middle and high school athletes.
So how can you tell or if you have tendonitis or just tweaked a muscle or slept wrong? In this blog, the highly skilled team at Cardio Metabolic Institute shares some warning signs that you may have tendonitis. Let’s start by talking about tendons.
Tendons are thick, fibrous bands of connective tissue that link muscles to bones. Composed of collagen, think of tendons as your body’s rubber bands. With 650-plus muscles throughout your body, it’s safe to say there are thousands of tendons and potential places for tendonitis to happen. Here’s what to look for.
Dull ache or pain near or at a joint
For the most part, if you have tendonitis, it’s the result of repetitive use and not an acute or sudden injury. One of your first warning signs is a dull ache right around the joint and especially during movement.
Perhaps the most well-known form of tendonitis is Achilles tendonitis, which is an injury to the largest and strongest tendon in the human body, which connects your calf to your heel bone. This is a particularly common injury with runners and weekend warriors.
The Achilles tendon is especially at risk because there’s limited blood supply and high stress during movement. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, your Achilles tendon can handle 1,000 pounds of force. Think about that the next time you jog around your neighborhood.
Swelling or inflammation
Swelling and inflammation are also common tendonitis symptoms. Regardless of whether you suffer from tendonitis such as tennis or golfer’s elbow, pitcher’s or swimmer’s shoulder, or jumper’s knee, you may notice some swelling in and around the affected joint. If you also feel warmth in the area, and your symptoms don’t subside after a week or so, make an appointment with us right away to avoid a more severe injury or possible ruptured tendon.
Limited or loss of motion
When you notice that you can’t bear weight or you have limited movement in the affected limb, you may have tendonitis and should get checked out right away. When tendonitis strikes, it’s important to cut back on the exercise and let your damaged tendon heal. Depending on the severity of the injury, that can mean several weeks, so it’s important not to get stuck in the wait-and-see mindset.
We know it’s no fun when you’re in pain and chomping at the bit to get back to the game. Our team of physicians, physical therapists, and other professional staff work together to develop a treatment plan to relieve your pain and promote tissue healing. We also work with you to ensure cross-training during your recovery period.
If you notice any of these warning signs and think you’re experiencing tendonitis, schedule an evaluation at Cardio Metabolic Institute at our office in Somerset, New Jersey. Click or call today for an appointment.