Tendinitis (or Tendonitis) can be a complication of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If you are in need of information regarding RA, please see my article titled Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Overview. Playing tennis, golfing, skiing, carpentry work, gardening or other activities that feature repetitive movement may cause a person's tendons to become inflamed and irritated. This is a condition known as Tendinitis.
What are tendons & how do they become inflamed?
Tendons are thick cords of tissue that connect a muscle to a bones. They are located throughout our bodies. Although repetitive movement and minor injury may aggravate them, people with an inflammatory disease like RA may see the same symptoms, without the physical activity. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the joints to be inflamed, and become abnormal. This, in turn, effects the soft tissue of the tendons.
How are the tendons effected?
If the tendons become inflamed, it can result in pain, stiffness and swelling. Any joint that is affected by RA, has the potential to inflame the tendons. The tendons most often affected are in the area of the wrists, elbows, shoulders, thumb base, feet, ankles, knees and hips. Tendinitis may be given specific names depending on which part of the body that it's found in. Some of the more common varieties are…
- Achilles tendinitis - affecting the heal area
- Patellar tendinitis - appears as pain below the kneecap area
- Adductor tendinitis - pain in the neighborhood of the groin
- Rotator cuff tendinitis - develops into shoulder area pain
- Bicipital tendinitis - pain is felt in the tendon that connects the bicep muscle to (this may happen in conjunction with Rotator cuff tendinitis)
- Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis) - this causes the finger to be locked into a position. It may pop painfully when you try to straighten it.
Immediate medical attention should be sought if the pain is immobilizing or accompanied by a fever of 100 degrees or more. NSAIDS and steroids are commonly prescribed and used on RA and tendinitis. They may provide some relief, but they don't eliminate the cause of the problem. Since RA sufferers may acquire tendinitis as a complication from their abnormal joint functions, it's possible to avoid tendinitis completely. Taking good care of your joints and relieving the inflammation is vital in order to be successful in your quest for a pain free body. Protecting the joints can ward off pain and inflammation and protect you from complications, such as tendinitis.
Photo Credit: Doug Sparks