Tendonitis in Athletes: How to Prevent, Manage, and Stay in the Game

Besides challenging your limits, sports can keep you fit and healthy. Unfortunately, painful injuries like tendonitis can affect even the most seasoned athletes. That can bring their game to an unexpected, grinding halt. 


What Is Tendonitis?


Tendonitis is an irritation or inflammation of a tendon. It can cause stiffness and pain and affect how the injured tendon moves. It can affect many body segments, but the structural damage is the same. It would help to understand the function and structure of a tendon. That will help you understand why the treatment protocol for tendonitis differs from other acute injuries. 




Some common names for various tendonitis problems in athletes include tennis elbow, jumper’s knee, golfer’s elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, and pitcher’s shoulder. The symptoms and signs of tendonitis typically occur at the point where tendons attach to a bone. They include:


  • Mild swelling

  • Tenderness

  • Pain when moving the affected joint or limb


What Is a Tendon?


Tendons are tough, fibrous connective tissues that attach bone to muscle. They also attach muscles to organs such as the eyeball. A tendon primarily consists of ground substance, water, and fibers. The components in the ground substance give tendons their ability to stretch and return to their original shape. 


Tendons have a wavy appearance in a resting state. Muscle contractions and movements pull the tendon’s attachment site on the bone, causing the tendons to straighten and tighten.

However, they have a structural breaking point. They will eventually rupture if the force goes beyond the tensile strength they can handle. 


How to Prevent Tendonitis


Doing exercises or sports activities intelligently will lower your tendonitis risk. Chiropractors, sports doctors, and physical therapists agree that prevention is the best approach. These include:


  • Warm up before beginning your physical activity to get your body ready to perform optimally. 

  • Stop and rest if you experience any pain during a particular exercise. Also, avoiding physical activities that place excessive stress on your tendons for prolonged periods would be best. 

  • Mix up your exercises, especially if a particular activity is causing you persistent pain. 

  • Improve your technique or get professional instructions when using exercise equipment or trying a new exercise.

  • Always stretch after exercise when your muscles are still warm to maximize the range of motion in your joints. That will help minimize repetitive trauma on tight tendons and tissues. 

  • Strengthen your muscles to help them better withstand load and stress.


How to Manage Tendonitis


If you are experiencing the symptoms of tendonitis, it would be best to take self-care steps sooner rather than later. A simple way to manage this condition at home is the RICE method. That refers to rest, ice, compression, and elevation. 


If that does not improve your condition within two or three weeks, schedule an appointment with your doctor or chiropractor. You may require more advanced treatments like corticosteroid injections, chiropractic care, physical therapy, or surgery. 




Such injuries can be stressful due to costly treatments and drawn-out recovery times. They can leave players unsure of where to turn. While accidents and injuries happen, they do not have to end your athletic journey. Learning how to prevent and manage them to stay in the game would be best.


For more on tendonitis, visit Campion Chiropractic Clinic at our College Station, Texas office. Call (979) 464-4400 to schedule an appointment today.

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