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What Is Tendonitis?

The tendons in our bodies are thick cords that connect muscle to bone and help our bodies move. Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Any tendon in the body can become inflamed. Most commonly, tendonitis occurs at the:

  • Shoulder
  • Achilles tendon
  • Knee (including patellar tendonitis/jumper’s knee)
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Wrist/hand

Tendonitis generally occurs as a result of overuse or repetitive movement, such as throwing, hitting a ball, swinging a racket, running and even non-sports activities, such as gardening, painting, cleaning and repetitive movement at work.


Tendonitis symptoms include:

  • Pain – The affected tendon can cause pain at the site of the injury and the surrounding area. Pain can be mild and felt throughout the day or it can be sudden and severe depending on the activity.
  • Swelling – The injury can swell and become red or tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness

Treatment Options

Tendonitis can often be treated with self-care. If conservative treatment doesn’t work, a sports medicine or orthopedic provider will work with you to create a plan that addresses your injury and relieves your symptoms.

Treatment options may include:

  • “RICE” – Rest, ice, compression and elevation is the best first step in treating tendonitis. This conservative approach encourages patients to:
    • Rest the joint.
    • Ice the injured area regularly throughout the day.
    • Compress/Wrap the injury to reduce swelling.
    • Elevate the affected area when possible.
  • Support or bracing – Taping or wearing a support around the affected tendon can help reduce swelling and provide support during physical activity.
  • Medication – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help relieve swelling and pain.
  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen and support the injury and its surrounding muscles.
  • Injections – Corticosteroid injections may be recommended based on type and location of issue.

When to See a Doctor

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of tendonitis, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat tendonitis.