What can be causing widespread tendon damage throughout my body

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I have developed widespread tendonitis throughout my whole body. It s in my arms ,elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and feet. What could be causing my tendons to be so weak and break down so easily ? Is it a specific defiency or maybe an autoimmune response? I m a 23 yr old male with semi active job.i used to go to the gym but now i cant with these tendon issues. Please someone help me.

1 like, 46 replies

46 Replies

  • Posted

    I have posterior tibial tendonitis and tendonitis of my elbow. 

    I was thinking that overuse all my years at gym caused repetitive strain injuries on these parts. 

    I do have mixed connective tissue disease by my rheumy doesn’t think it’s related.

    Stress doesn’t help bc it just tightens the tendons further and makes them more suspecting to injury.

    How are u doing now? 

  • Edited

    Hi Will,

    Your post caught my attention because I am in a very similar situation. I used to be an avid runner and fitness fanatic until I had my first tendon injury (posterior tibialis tendonitis) in my left foot. This made sense, because I was training exceptionally hard for a race, at the time. However, over the past couple years (age 21 to now age 24), my tendon trouble has only spread to many areas of my body. I've had tendon pain in just about every place you can imagine (including my jaw or TMJ and gluteus Maximus insertion). I am now somewhat of an expert on tendon issues because I have spent a huge amount of time researching through medical journal articles, including the latest treatments. I literally know more about tendons that probably my primary care doctor and rheumatologist combined.

    The good news is: I have found several things that help with my condition. The bad news is: no rheumatologist or other physician seems to know what is causing this for me. I believe that it is either a condition that has not been discovered yet or I just have genetically weak tendons. All of the testing and exams I have had by doctors have only revealed that I am in good health, do not test positive for any rheumatic or autoimmune disorders and have full range of motion and strength.

    The absolute most important thing that you can do is start seeing a knowledgeable physical therapist. If I catch a source of tendon pain early, I will start physical therapy to strengthen the affected tendon and this completely relieves the pain and prevents further degeneration within days to a couple weeks. Please do not disregard how important this is!!!! If you cannot afford a physical therapist, you can find relevant exercises on youtube and preform them at home. Tendon pain that I have not caught early and buffered with PT, have been MUCH more troublesome to manage in the future. I literally do physical therapy 5-7 days a week as prevention and this helps a great deal. For me, I will always to PT, there is no defined end to it which is ok. It is very effective.

    The other thing I do, which has a very beneficial effect, is chronic pain management techniques. Please visit bodyinmind.org for some good information. Basically, I practice meditation and visualization of physical tasks that usually cause me pain, each night before I go to bed. You have to remember that although your tendons are painful, this does not necessarily correlate to the degree of tissue damage. So you have to treat the "pain" and the "tissue damage" separately while still letting the pain guide your return to activity. Another resource that is extremely helpful are the podcasts by Jill Cook. She is an Australian physical therapist that is on the forefront of tendon rehabilitation research.

    Using these tools I have gone from practically bed bound and suicidal to living a normal life again. I ride by bike to and from work, work a moderately strenuous job with no pain, lift weights 3-4x week and walk/hike 2-3 times per week for recreation. I would love to speak with you more, because would love to have support from someone in a similar situation and support you in return. This is a very difficult condition to live with and sometimes it still makes me depressed that I can no longer go on all the adventures I would like to. If you would like to discuss things more I would be happy to help. You can contact me at. Also, this is open to anyone experiencing similar issues. I would love to start some sort of support group. Things will get better! Do not be afraid.

    Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.


    • Posted

      Let’s talk!!

      I’m miserable and getting depressed by all my tendon issues!!

      Thanks for all your research 

    • Posted

      I have a lot of questions since me and you are going through the same horror. Do any specific supplements work as well ? I'm on vitamin c magnesium and a multivitamin and fish oil and none are helping. I'm going to look into the physical therapy because I want to be able to enjoy life and do things again. I'm also in the process of getting blood work to see if anything is causing this within my body .

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your information. Your post gave me hope. I'm struggling with tendonitis in my foot that has been ongoing 4 years and now it's in my arms and shoulders. I've been able to get the shoulder pain under control but my forearms hurt and my foot is still killing me. I'm going to look at the resources that you linked. do you notice that any supplements or essential oils help with the problem? What about diet modifications? Have you tried any of that?

    • Posted

      This resonates a lot with my own experience. I've sent you a message and would love to chat in more detail about what's worked for you and how you're going!

    • Posted

      May I ask, do you have any other symptoms besides pain that you think might be linked to your tendon issues?

    • Posted

      Hi there,

      Would either of you have any advice on dealing with these widespread tendon issues?

      Much appreciated.


    • Posted


      Thank you Josephine for sharing your valuable information and research. It provides light and hope to us.

      I am a very active woman, who does Yoga and sports daily. Eighteen months ago, I started experiencing right shoulder tendonitis, which got worse and worse overtime despite doing regular physical therapy. At one point I could not even cook for my family or do any house chore. I was barely able to work behind my computer. In the summer 2020, a new Physical therapist I went to suggested that in addition to the PT exercises I am doing, I massage my pectorals with a massage rolling ball and pinch the pectoral and lats edges around my underarm on a regular basis to release the tension. Those are strong muscles that are pulling the traps and shoulder to the front. By massaging them, I release the tension and improve the biomechanics. This acted like a miracle. I went from having an almost disabled right shoulder to a fully functional one in a matter of 3 weeks. Now the tendonitis there is very much under control.

      In the meantime, I started feeling tendonitis in other spots in my body: left shoulder (for which I am using the same technique as above and is very helpful), left glute, and lately my right glute and left knee. Two weeks ago, I woke up with a flare of tendon-like pain in my elbows, ankles, both knees… All my rheumatological lab tests are normal and show I do not have rheumatic or autoimmune disorders.

      This situation in depressing me a lot; I had to cut back on most of my physical activity and projects. I am wondering if there is one root cause for all this, ex. tension in specific back or pelvis muscles that are impacting the whole body and triggering this chain reaction etc. If anybody on this forum have hints that worked for you, I appreciate if you share!

      Josephine, I will send you a message and would love to chat in more detail about what's worked for you and how you're going! Joyce

    • Edited


      I have been searching for people with similar conditions as mine. I started to have pain in the elbows at the lateral parts. First the left elbow then the right one. This went on for 2 years and then both of my shins or better the tibialis anterior started hurting too. After another year of no improvement my groin and hip area started showing symptoms too. And now in the last 2 months the inside of my elbows up and into my palms started hurting. No Doctor could help me and all my MRIs were good. The pain started when I was 20. Now I am 23 and it is only getting worse as more parts of my body start hurting. Physical therapy also didn't help me yet. So it would be wonderful if I could speak to you about your "recovery" or how you improved your pain. Or maybe if you know a support group with similar people.

      Best Regards


    • Posted

      I like all the repliers have debilitating tendonitis throughout my body. It is making it difficult for me to sleep lately and I am becoming depressed from the issue. My inflammation markers come up negative. I have taken Cipro in the past years ago. I see a PT when something inflames and sometimes it resolves and sometimes it doesn't. I am not able to perform my work and I no longer do much physical activity which leads to more issues. Please message me if you are interested in talking as I would love to connect with others going through the same issues.

    • Posted

      Hi Jospehine, I have developed tendinopothy first in my patellers tendons about 6 months ago. In the last month or two it has spread to my elbows, triceps and shoulders. I feel I have my legs sligyly under control but not my arms. Can you advise exercises or good links for upper body exercises. Particularly triceps and Shoulders.

      Thanks you


    • Posted

      Hey, I really need help man, I've been getting tendonitis all over my body from the smallest of things and I'm not even 18 years old yet and used to want to make it as a pro athelte but havnt been able to do play any sports for a year and a half

      I've been threw 3 physio, now I'm on my 4th and it's helping 2 spots of tendonitis, but I've literly cought mote since I've been with her.

      How can I contact u now? Ur email isn't on there anymore I really need the help

      Sports used to be my life

    • Posted

      Right along with the others, starting similar symptoms. First my ankle, now my elbows. If you can link to resources or if there is anyway to chat with you, that would be great!

    • Posted

      hi , I totally relate to everything you said in your post. I too have pain and inflammation in tendons throughout my body. for 12 years I was told its some kind of arthritis but from finally having a scan last year, I was diagnosed with hypermobility disorder. I am under both physio and Occupational therapy to try to deal with this. at 47 years old, I am only now getting back to going for walks etc. with supports and specific footwear and learning how to manage the condition. The pain can be very debilitating and I'm currently unable to move my left arm for the pain in my upper arm and all my fingers are catching, stiff and painful. Like you, I was a very fit and active person before this started and now feel like an elderly woman.. The OT, physio and supports are undeniably making a huge difference even though days like today are depressing and mentally and physically draining., especially knowing this will never go away and will always have to be managed. I just wanted to share this with you all to not only help me feel better but hopefully help anyone else feel they are not alone in this and it can be managed and improved despite the tough days.

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