Tendinitis​​


Tendons are the soft but tough fibres which link your muscles to bone. When your muscles contract, the tendons pull your bones and enable your joints to move.

Tendinitis is the irritation of the tendons that causes inflammation outside a joint. Tendinitis is very similar to bursitis

Any tendon in the body can be affected, but the ones around the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels are usually affected. Common names for various sites involved, in different sports, are:

  • Tennis elbow

  • Golfer’s or Baseball elbow

  • Swimmer’s shoulder

  • Pitcher’s shoulder

  • Jumper’s knee

Basketball, baseball, bowling and skiing professionals are also at risk. 

As people age the tendons become less flexible, prone to injury and rupture. However, repetitive movements as part of your job or hobbies can lead to stress upon relevant tendons. This is why proper posture and technique is important when performing such motions in sports or activities at your job. If your occupation includes awkward positions, forceful exertion, frequent overhead reaching and/or vibration, it can be a causative factor. 

Certain disorders can weaken your muscles, like rheumatoid arthritisgout, kidney disorde or blood disease. An already inflamed tendon should not be pushed any further; the prime complication you want to avoid is rupture of the tendon, which would require invasive repair.​

If you believe you may be suffering from tendinitis, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Pain. This is the principal presenting complaint, particularly on movement of respective joint. It may appear suddenly or come on gradually.

  • Swelling, may or may not be noticed

  • Loss of movement at that joint 

  • Local grating sensation ​

If pain if the sole symptom, it is likely that this episode will respond to self-care measures taken at home. However, most diseases of bone, muscles and joints reveal themselves in analogous ways, so it is a good idea to get a medical opinion. If you notice any of the following signs, you should immediately consult the Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital:

  • Fever (especially when above 100 degrees Fahrenheit) 

  • Swelling, redness, and warmth in the inflamed region

  • Generally feeling ill

  • Multiple sites of pain 

  • Inability to move the affected area

If the presenting symptoms do not resolve over within a week or so after rest and your daily activities are disturbed, it is an alarming signal and should prompt you to seek medical help. 

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

A few questions, combined with a physical examination, are usually sufficient for your doctor to reach the diagnosis of tendinitis. In some cases, they may ask you to undergo imaging (X-ray) tests to make sure they are on the right track. 

Resting and icing the joint, along with modifying your activities temporarily, are the usual initial recommended steps. After your evaluation, if deemed appropriate, your health care provider may suggest any of these additional options:

  • Painkillers (oral or cream for local application)

  • Splint, to keep the damaged tendon from moving

  • Steroid injection

  • Exercise programs to stretch and strengthen the affected muscle and tendon

  • Focused aspiration of scar tissue (for chronic cases): small instruments are used to remove scar tissue under ultrasound guidance

  • Surgical repair of ruptured tendon​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

 The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

 The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage



​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.