Skip to main content
Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the swelling (inflammation) of a tendon, which is a thick cord attaching a muscle to a bone. It can cause joint pain and stiffness.

You can usually ease symptoms of tendonitis with rest, ice packs, and support, such as a brace. A GP may suggest painkillers or physiotherapy.

Symptoms of tendonitis include pain, stiffness and swelling in a joint.

Tendonitis is usually caused by sudden movements or repetitive exercise, such as running, jumping or throwing.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of tendonitis include pain, stiffness and swelling in a joint.

Symptoms of tendonitis

There are tendons all over your body. They connect your muscles to bones in your joints, for example, in your knees, elbows and shoulders.

The main symptoms of tendonitis are:

Read more on the NHS website.

You can usually ease symptoms of tendonitis with rest, ice packs, and support, such as a brace. A GP may suggest painkillers or physiotherapy.

Self-care

Follow these steps for 2 to 3 days to help manage pain and to support the tendon.

  • Rest: try to avoid moving the tendon for 2 to 3 days.
  • Ice: put an ice pack (or try a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) on the tendon for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Support: wrap an elastic bandage around the area, use a tube bandage, or use a soft brace. You can buy these from pharmacies. It should be snug, not tight.

It's important to take a bandage or brace off before going to bed.

When you can move the injured area without pain stopping you, try to keep moving it so the joint does not become stiff.

To help prevent further injury or pain, try to avoid:

  • heavy lifting, strong gripping or twisting actions that make the symptoms worse
  • playing sports, until the tendon has recovered

Medical treatments

A GP may prescribe a stronger painkiller or suggest you use a NSAID cream or gel on your skin to ease pain.

If the pain is severe, lasts a long time, or your movement is limited, you may be referred for physiotherapy. You can also choose to book appointments privately.

If physiotherapy does not help, you may be referred to a doctor who specialises in muscles and bones (orthopaedic specialist) or a local musculoskeletal clinic.

Some people with severe tendonitis may be offered:

  • steroid injections, which may provide short-term pain relief (this cannot be offered for problems with the achilles tendon)
  • shockwave therapy, which may help with healing
  • platelet rich plasma injections (PRP), which may help with healing
  • surgery to remove damaged tissue or repair a ruptured tendon

Read more on the NHS website.

Tendonitis is usually caused by sudden movements or repetitive exercise, such as running, jumping or throwing.

Read more on the NHS website.