TENDONITIS . . . ouch!
Tendonitis seems like the injury of the  month in my world.  I lead a youth group on Wednesday nights and two of the girls are star athletes, both suffering from tendonitis.  One in her shoulder and forearm, while the other has it in her knee.  Tendonitis is defined as inflammation of the tendon and the pain can be very uncomfortable.  Remember, do not use this blog to diagnose what you may or may not have. . .this is only a tool to help you ask your doctor questions that can help with your diagnoses.

When studying and researching tendonitis (particularly patellar tendonitis), like many injuries, there are no easy ways to get around correcting the injury.  I do know that you don't have to live with tendonitis for a long period of time IF you rehab, rest and stretch properly, as well as, consistently.  I had tendonitis while running collegiate track and a couple of years later when competing in 5K and 10K runs.  After finally going to a specialist, I learned it had a lot to do with my shoes and lack of flexibility.  When you are are young, you just "go, gO, GO" and flexibility is a waste of time (in your young mind) until you get injured.  I tell young athletes, it may be a bore to do static stretching after a workout but it is important.  Grab your cell phone and a few friends and get your STRETCH ON!

Tendonitis is often caused by the overuse of any particular tendon.  Tendons connect muscle to bone and tendonitis most commonly occurs in muscle that cross two joints.  There are hundreds of tendons throughout our body but there are just a few tendons that are most commonly irritated in athletes.  For example, "runner's knee or jumper's knee" in runners, soccer players and basketball players.  There can be tendonitis in your shoulders, wrists or forearms which can be found in basketball players, golfers, volleyball and/or tennis players.

The best way to prevent tendonitis is to work on flexibility and strengthening the involved muscles.  When we talk about tendonitis, the factors that predispose that muscle injury would be inflexibility or tight muscles as well as poorly conditioned or weak muscles.When treating tendonitis, we start with acronym RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation of the injured tendon or joint.  That's a good place to start.  Once that inflammation has settled down, oftentimes in 3 or 4 days after the injury, then we can work on rehabilitating that muscle and that tendon focusing again on flexibility, stretching the muscle, as well as then strengthening and conditioning the muscle, oftentimes in hopes to preventing the tendonitis for recurring.  abcnews.go.com

Please note that "tendonitis" is not an easy diagnoses, especially if you go to a doctor who is not familiar with sports injuries.  Remember, just popping an ibuprofen for the pain will magically make the injury go away.  I know as an athlete, we just don't want to keep training and moving but your body is talking to you and it's usually telling you to slow down!  Next, "flexibility" is so important and I can not stress this enough as a former, competitive athlete and trainer.  I am not saying you will NEVER get an injury if you stretch but I can tell you that injuries will be far and few between.  Lastly, strength training twice a week will keep muscles strong and help protect your tendons and bones.  Oh, ONE MORE. . .check your shoes, it may be time to trade them in for new ones!

Remember to visit your doctor or sports specialist, listen to what they say and ask questions . .it's your body and you kind of need it for the rest of your days.
Happy Running!