What are the symptoms of tendinopathy and tenosynovitis?
Tendinopathy usually occurs at the part of the tendon that attaches to the bone and the sheath of the tendon that is affected in tenosynovitis is close to this attachment. The main symptoms are pain, tenderness and sometimes swelling of the affected part of the tendon or even a lump. The pain is typically when you move the affected area. The overlying skin in that area may also feel warm. You may not be able to move the part of the body that is pulled by the affected tendon as easily as normal or it might feel weak. The area may feel stiff. In some cases the condition lasts just a few days and then goes away on its own. In other cases it can last weeks or months if not treated.
Any tendon of your body may be affected. However, some areas of your body are more prone to these problems. For example, tendons around your wrist and hand are the most commonly affected. Some types of tendinopathy and tenosynovitis cause very characteristic symptoms and have their own name. For example:
- De Quervain's tenosynovitis. This is a common condition that affects the tendons that are used to straighten (extend) your thumb. The typical symptom is pain over your wrist at the base of your thumb that is made worse by activity and eased by rest.
- Trigger finger. This most commonly affects your ring finger. The condition prevents your finger from straightening fully. See separate leaflet called Trigger Finger for more details.
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). In this condition, you have pain on the outer side of your elbow. It is usually due to overuse of your forearm muscles. See separate leaflet called Tennis Elbow for more details.
- Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis). This is similar to tennis elbow but the pain is felt on the inner side of your elbow.
- Achilles tendinopathy. This affects the large tendon just behind and above the heel. See separate leaflet called Achilles Tendinopathy for more details.
- Rotator cuff tendinopathy. Your rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that help to lift and rotate your shoulder. The tendons from these muscles can sometimes become irritated due to overuse. See separate leaflet called Rotator Cuff Disorders for more details.
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- Andres BM, Murrell GA; Treatment of tendinopathy: what works, what does not, and what is on the horizon. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Jul 466(7):1539-54. Epub 2008 Apr 30.
- Childress MA, Beutler A; Management of chronic tendon injuries. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Apr 1 87(7):486-90.
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory tennis elbow; NICE Interventional Procedure Guidance, August 2009
- Autologous blood injection for tendinopathy; NICE Interventional Procedure Guidance, January 2013
- van Tulder M, Malmivaara A, Koes B; Repetitive strain injury. Lancet. 2007 May 26 369(9575):1815-22.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.