Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that can occur anywhere in the body, although it is most common in areas of greatest stress, such as the shoulder, wrist, knee and ankle.

What causes it?

In this space, we will address the main causes and risk factors that can trigger its onset. The main causes include the following:

  1. Repetitive overload: This is the most common cause and occurs when the tendon is subjected to repetitive and continuous stress over a prolonged period of time. This causes irritation in the area, which can lead to inflammation and pain in the affected area.
  2. Trauma and injury: Trauma and direct injury to the tendons can also lead to tendonitis.
  3. Ageing: With age, tendons lose elasticity and flexibility, making them more prone to injury and tendonitis.
  4. Biomechanical alterations: Alterations in posture, muscle balance and sports technique can increase stress on this area of the body, increasing the risk of developing tendonitis.
  5. Systemic factors: Some systemic diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis and gout, can increase the risk of developing tendinitis.

If tendinitis is suspected, a proper assessment should be carried out to identify the underlying causes and prescribe personalised treatment, including physiotherapy techniques, anti-inflammatory medication and lifestyle modifications to prevent recurrence of the injury.

What are the symptoms?

This is a common condition that affects many patients who seek treatment from physiotherapists. It is important for practitioners to be able to identify its symptoms in order to provide effective treatment to their patients. Below we list and explain the most common symptoms of tendonitis:

  • Pain: This is the most common symptom. Patients may feel pain in the affected area, which is aggravated by specific movements. It may be more intense at night.
  • Swelling: The injury may cause mild to moderate swelling in the affected area. The amount of swelling will depend on the severity of the injury.
  • Tenderness: Those affected may experience tenderness in the tendon. The skin may be warm to the touch and it may hurt when pressure is applied.
  • Stiffness: Tendonitis can also cause stiffness in the affected area. Patients may find that their movements are limited.
  • Muscle weakness: The injury can weaken the muscles surrounding the affected area. This may cause patients to feel that they have less strength in that area.
  • Clicking or popping: In some cases, patients may feel a clicking or popping sound in the affected area when moving.

It should be noted that the symptoms of tendonitis can vary depending on its location. For example, tendonitis of the shoulder may cause pain in the upper arm, while tendonitis of the elbow may cause pain in the forearm.

What treatments are available?

Here are some of the treatments we can use to help patients recover from injury:

  • Manual therapy: This is a treatment technique that involves manipulation of the soft tissues to relieve pain, improve mobility and flexibility, and reduce inflammation. To treat the injury, we can apply different manual therapy techniques, such as massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, among others.
  • Therapeutic exercises: Therapeutic exercises are an effective way to treat it, as they can help strengthen muscles and tendons, improve mobility and flexibility, and reduce pain. It is important to customise exercises according to the part of the body affected and its severity.
  • Physical modalities: Physical modalities are treatments that use different forms of energy to treat inflammation and pain. Among those that can be applied to treat this injury are cryotherapy, electrotherapy, ultrasound therapy and laser therapy.
  • Education and prevention: In addition to the treatments mentioned above, it is important to provide education and advice to patients to prevent future injuries and improve their lifestyle. We can teach them stretching techniques, strengthening exercises and ergonomic recommendations so that they can improve their posture and reduce the risk of future injuries.

How can physiotherapists prevent them in their work?

Tendonitis is a common injury that can affect anyone, including physiotherapists who perform repetitive movements at work. Here are some strategies for preventing tendinitis in physiotherapy work.

  1. Warm up properly: Before starting work, it is important to warm up properly to prepare the muscles and tendons for the physical work. This may include stretching and strengthening exercises.
  2. Maintain good posture: Proper posture during work can help reduce stress on muscles and tendons. To do this, it is important to maintain good body alignment, avoiding leaning forward or slouching.
  3. Use proper equipment: It is important to use proper, ergonomic equipment to avoid repetitive motion injuries. Physiotherapists should use adjustable stools, neck and back support cushions, and elbow or wrist pads to reduce stress on the joints.
  4. Rest and stretch frequently: Taking regular breaks and stretching muscles and tendons during work can help prevent tendonitis. Physiotherapists can use breaks to walk around, stretch arms and hands, and relax shoulders.
  5. Strengthen muscles and tendons: Strengthening muscles and tendons can help prevent future injuries. Physical therapists can incorporate strengthening exercises into your daily routine, such as wrist push-ups, resistance band exercises, and grip exercises.
  6. Avoid repetitive movements: It is important to avoid repetitive movements that can strain muscles and tendons. Practitioners can alternate between different tasks to avoid excessive repetition of movements and reduce strain on muscles and tendons.

Preventing tendonitis in physiotherapy work involves warming up properly, maintaining good posture, using appropriate equipment, resting and stretching frequently, strengthening muscles and tendons, and avoiding repetitive movements. By following these strategies, you can reduce your risk of injury and stay healthy while doing your job.


In summary, tendonitis is an inflammation in the tendons, which occurs when the tendon, which connects the muscle to the bone, becomes inflamed due to overuse or acute injury.

Symptoms of the injury include pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, muscle weakness and popping or snapping. As a physiotherapist, it is important that you can identify these in order to provide effective treatment to your patients.

If you suspect that your patient has tendonitis, it is important that you perform a detailed assessment to confirm the diagnosis and devise an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment for tendonitis may include strengthening exercises, manual therapy, physiotherapy and other treatment modalities, depending on the severity of the condition.

Finally, inflammation can be prevented in many cases by stretching and strengthening exercises, adopting proper technique in sporting activity, using appropriate footwear and equipment, and modifying posture and work environment.

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