Tendinitis Treatment Options from a Rheumatologist

Tendinitis Orlando, FL

If you start having pain in your joints and tendons due to tendinitis, a visit to the rheumatologist is imminent. Tendons are flexible but inelastic cords of dense and fibrous collagen tissues that connect the muscle to the bone. A tendon enables motion by transferring the pull of the muscle to the bone. Tendinitis usually affects the shoulder, wrist, elbow, hip, knee and ankle, making the area tender and painful to touch.

Treatment options for tendinitis

A sudden and severe injury can cause tendinitis. However, more often, the cause is a repetitive use of that tendon. Rheumatologists call it repetitive stress or overuse. Although the problem can be recurrent or chronic in some people, it is usually short term if treated on time.

The cause determines the treatment approach. In the case of overuse or injury, the person must limit the stress or causative factor. If tendinitis is work-related, the rheumatologist will recommend proper ergonomics for safe performance. Some patients may require joint protection advice and support in the affected area. The treatment options provided by a rheumatologist may include any of the following:

Rest and ice

The person needs to rest the affected limb or joint for some time. The symptom will likely worsen without rest. If the issue lies in the leg, foot or hip, it would be advisable to avoid stressing weight-bearing routines for a short while to reduce inflammation.

Ice may alleviate pain and inflammation. Place an ice pack on the affected area for 10 – 15 minutes once or twice daily.

Medications

If the pain persists, the rheumatologist may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen. Topical forms of NSAIDs are available to alleviate pain and inflammation without side effects. Using acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also help.

Patients who cannot take NSAIDs may benefit from corticosteroid injections for short-term relief on certain types of tendinitis. If there is an infection, the patient will need antibiotics and may need to have fluid drained from the area daily. Patients may get additional meds if crystals of gout are found in the joint fluid.

Supports

Using a cane for support can help with a painful hip. The doctor may recommend splints or braces to help rest the affected area and relieve stress. Off-the-counter support works, else the patient might need to get custom-made braces. In the case of ankle tendonitis, orthotics may help to lower stress on the ankle or foot. Orthotic devices sit inside the shoe and change the support and angle of the foot to improve mechanics and reduce pain or pressure.

Physical therapist

If the tendon issue persists for more than a few weeks despite standard treatment, the rheumatologist might recommend exercises to maintain strength and function. If the condition is restricting joint movement, then professional attention is important. For example, if the shoulder pain stops, but the patient cannot raise the arm as high as the healthy arm, the problem may be worsening into a rotator cuff problem. Early treatment can help prevent this.

Final note

The rupture of a tendon is one of the potential complications of tendinitis. It is important to visit the rheumatologist as soon as you start noticing the symptoms of the condition.

Get more information here: https://rheumatologyorlando.com or call Anika Alar MD at (407) 209-3711

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