Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon — any one of the thick fibrous cords that attaches muscle to bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint.

While tendinitis can occur in any of your body's tendons, it's most common around your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels.

Some common names for various tendinitis problems are:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer's elbow
  • Pitcher's shoulder
  • Swimmer's shoulder
  • Jumper's knee

If tendinitis is severe and leads to the rupture of a tendon, you may need surgical repair. But most cases of tendinitis can be successfully treated with rest, physical therapy and medications to reduce pain.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Signs and symptoms of tendinitis tend to occur at the point where a tendon attaches to a bone and typically include:

  • Pain often described as a dull ache, especially when moving the affected limb or joint
  • Tenderness
  • Mild swelling

When to see a doctor

Most cases of tendinitis can respond to self-care measures. See your doctor if your signs and symptoms persist and interfere with your day-to-day activities for more than a few days.

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