We've all heard of tennis elbow, or golf elbow - pain in these areas caused by tendonitis. But tendonitis can also cause pain in many areas of the hand and arms. Tendonitis is a result of swelling of the tendons. Tendons are rope-like structures which connect the muscles in our body to the bones which they have to move. There are many tendons in the hand and forearm that, when irritated and swollen, are painful.
What are the symptoms of tendonitis?
Most patients complain of pain and/or stiffness in the hand(s) or in the muscles of the forearm. The stiffness is often most noticeable in the morning, and improves during the day. They will often have tenderness over the area of the palm, where the tendons run. The pain and swelling can be on the palm side of the hand/wrist or the dorsal (top) side. People also complain of swelling and clicking when they move their fingers. In the worst cases, one or more fingers may be locked in a flexed position. Often, these symptoms are mistaken for arthritis.
How is tendonitis diagnosed?
A doctor diagnoses tendonitis usually by asking a person about their history and their current activities as well as performing a physical examination. In some cases, an x-ray or MRI may be helpful to rule out other causes of pain.
How is tendonitis treated?
Tendonitis can be treated effectively with nonsurgical and surgical methods. Your doctor may prescribe nonsurgical treatments including ice, heat, hand therapy, braces, exercises, ultrasound, steroid injections and oral steroids. Surgical treatments involve releasing the tight areas around selected tendons or cleaning up the inflammatory material causing the swelling around each tendon. With proper evaluation and treatment, most people can find effective relief from their symptoms, so they can resume their normal life again.
At Advanced Specialty Care, we provide a full range of hand treatments including tendonitis. Our hand surgeon can treat carpal tunnel syndrome, Dupuytren's contractures, nerve injuries and osteoarthritis, as well as many unsightly conditions like ganglions, arthritic spurs, protruding veins and skin blemishes. We are located in Danbury, in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
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