Tendons are thick cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones, facilitating movement and providing stability to joints. When these tendons become inflamed or irritated due to repetitive motion, overuse, injury, or aging, it leads to tendinitis. Common types of arm and wrist tendinitis include:
Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): Involves the inflammation of the tendons on the inside of the elbow. It typically occurs due to repetitive wrist and forearm movements, leading to pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow.
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Involves the inflammation of tendons on the outside of the elbow. It often results from repetitive gripping, lifting, or twisting motions, causing pain and tenderness on the outer side of the elbow.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: Affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist, leading to pain and swelling in the wrist and lower thumb. It is often associated with repetitive thumb and wrist movements.
Symptoms of arm and wrist tendinitis typically include pain, tenderness, swelling, and sometimes a reduced range of motion. The discomfort may worsen with specific movements or activities involving the affected tendons. Overuse, poor ergonomics, inadequate warm-up before physical activities, or sudden increases in activity levels can contribute to the development of tendinitis.
Treatment for tendinitis often involves rest, avoiding activities that aggravate the symptoms, applying ice packs to reduce inflammation, and using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate pain and swelling. Physical therapy exercises focused on strengthening and stretching the affected tendons and muscles may be recommended to promote healing and prevent recurrence. In some cases, a brace or splint may be used to immobilize the affected area to allow for healing.
It’s essential to seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen despite self-care measures. A healthcare professional can provide a proper diagnosis, recommend suitable treatment options, and offer guidance on preventing future episodes of tendinitis in the arm and wrist.