Tendons are strong, flexible bands of connective tissue that connect muscles to the skeletal system and allow you to carry out your desired movements. In fact without these fibrous tendons we would be incapable of performing any kind of movement, desired or otherwise, and it is our near constant reliance on them that can lead to them becoming worn, over-worked and fatigued. Once placed under too much strain, tendons will develop tiny tears and become inflamed, attributing to the development of tendinitis.
Because of the way tendinitis is perceived by the majority of the population it is often seen as a problem that affects those who are active or those who push themselves physically. But this is not the case. As stated, tendinitis occurs when strain is placed on the tendons and they become damaged, which is exactly what can happen when you place your wrists or forearms against the edge of table. Tendinitis in the shoulder is another common ailment for the office worker, with Biciptal Tendinitis and Rotator Cuff Tendinitis having become more and more common amongst those who spend their days working with computers.
Symptoms Of Tendinitis
There are not really any symptoms of tendinitis that are unique unto to itself, which can make it hard to discern amidst other repetitive strain injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Having said that, it is best to be aware of the symptoms so long as you do not then self-diagnose. If you are persistently suffering from any of the following symptoms pay a visit to your GP, let them know what's the matter and make them aware of your lifestyle so that they may be given the best chance of diagnosing you correctly.
- Shooting pain in your fingers
- Cracking or abrasive sensation
- Discomfort when raising your arms
- Soreness at the base of the thumb muscle
- Swelling accompanied by soreness or heat
- Raised area running along the affected tendon
- Noticeable muscular weakness in affected area
- Pain running along the hand just above the wrist
- Localised pain whilst moving or engaging muscles
- Difficulty & pain whilst reaching into pockets or behind you
Treatment Of Tendinitis
Because tendinitis is caused by inflammation your doctor may prescribe you with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics and recommend that you take time off work to rest and allow your tendons to heal. Applying ice onto the affected area may help, as the cold will reduce the swelling, but this will only alleviate your pain for a short while. Increasing your intake of antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, has been suggested as a treatment for RSI's such as tendinitis over the years, and whilst nothing official has ever been reported, studies done on athletes have shown that it can reduce the inflammation and soreness of muscles post-exercise.
When you begin treatment you ought to notice positive results within the first week and from then you should steadily improve over the next 2 months. Bear in mind however that irrelevant of whether you're fully healed or not, tendinitis can and will reoccur if you don't refrain from performing the actions that caused it initially. Ergonomic work aids, laptop stands and monitor risers – such as those available on Desktop Innovations – are very effective at warding away tendinitis and other RSI's, so you may want to consider investing in one or two to spare yourself from any future pain.