Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon, which is the thick fibrous cords that attaches muscle to bone. This condition is common in adults over the age of 40 and can occur in any of your tendons. However, it’s most common around your shoulder, bicep, elbow, hand, wrist, thumb, calf, knee or ankle. Tendinitis can sometimes be mistaken for arthritis, since the pain of tendinitis occurs near a joint.


Symptoms of tendinitis include mild swelling, tenderness and pain in areas around a joint localized to the tendon attachment to the bone. Tendonitis can last for days or longer. Most cases of tendinitis usually get better with rest or treatment. Tendinitis can also re-occur in the same area of the body.


Tendinitis is caused by sports injuries or repetitive movements. However, tendinitis can also be caused by:

  • An infection
  • Bad posture or walking habits
  • Stress on soft tissues from an abnormal or poorly positioned joint or bone
  • Arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondylarthritis including psoriatic arthritis, gout and pseudogout
  • Metabolic conditions such as diabetes
  • Side effects from certain medications, although this is very rare


Tendinitis may go away over time, but severe symptoms may require specialized treatment from a rheumatologist or a physical therapist.