Do you really even have tendonitis?

Below is the text of an online article I wrote not too long ago. If you’re under the impression that you have tendonitis but it seems like it’s taking an awfully long time to get better, have a look and see what you think. (Or you can just take my quick and easy tendon test.)

Tendonitis is one of the most common ailments around. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, tens of thousands of workers suffer from tendonitis and Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) like carpal tunnel syndrome every year.

The “itis” in tendonitis actually is a medically precise term that means “inflammation”. Here are some quick and easy tests to determine if you have tendonitis, or if it’s really another condition like tendonosis (which means degeneration of the tendon).

1. Did you have some injury/trauma at the location of your pain? Or has your pain developed slowly over time? Example: If you fell and banged your knee and then experienced pain in the joint, you may have tendonitis there. But if you’re a runner and started noticing a slight pain that has gradually become worse over the course of months, then most likely you’re suffering from tendonosis, not tendonitis.

2. Is the pain recurring? Have you “fixed” it once, only to have it come back a few weeks or months later? Inflammation is generally a short-term response to some sort of injury or infection in the body. If you hurt yourself or become sick for some reason, inflammation helps your body to heal. But once the job is done, the inflammation goes away. (Think about the last time you got a splinter in your finger.) If you have taken aspirin or some other pain medication, rested the affected area, and thought that it was healed only to have the pain come back once you started back at your activity, you probably do not have tendonitis.

3. Has the pain been there constantly for a long time (more than a few weeks)? This is very similar to the above point. If you are suffering from long-term pain in your wrists, shoulder, knee, etc., and especially if you have not experienced any injury or infection in those places, odds are that you do not have tendonitis, but tendonosis.

4. Is the area hot to the touch? Is it red? Is there any swelling? These are three of the five classic symptoms of inflammation, and have been known since ancient times. If the painful area isn’t hot, or red, or swollen, it’s likely not inflamed, which – again – means you don’t have tendonitis. At the risk of boring you, the odds are overwhelmingly that it’s tendonosis, which requires a whole different approach to treatment.

There are some legitimate cases of tendonitis out there, but most people (doctors included) tend to confuse tendonitis with tendonosis. Think about the above points and decide for yourself which one you have.

Anyway, yes, I’m selling something. And here comes the pitch: If NSAIDs, ice and so on haven’t worked for you, maybe it’s because you’ve been misdiagnosed. Honestly, it happens a lot. If you’re sick of the pain and just want to get back to your normal life, have a look at the testimonials to the right and then click on this link. My ebook + video package is fully guaranteed to work within a couple of weeks or 100% of your money will be refunded with no questions asked.

4 thoughts on “Do you really even have tendonitis?”

  1. I Have a question but first I´d like to thank you for helping me with my shoulder tendonosis which I´ve had for several months. I took NSAIDs for 2 weeks, had a cortisone injection 3 weeks of physical therapy and nothing helped. After two weeks of your therapy I feel about a 40% improvement. I´m able to tie my shoes and dress myself with a minimum of pain.

    My question: I´m 68 years old and used to going to the gym. I haven´t done that for about four months (I´m sure that that´s how the problem started). As a result I´m experiencing upper body muscle mass loss. I have no pain doing bicep curls. Is it OK to do them and other exercises that don´t cause me pain?

    Thank you,
    Michael Dorfman

  2. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your comment. Sure, any exercise that doesn’t cause you pain is okay to perform. I’d caution you to get back into weight training slowly, and to make sure to vary your exercise program so that you’re not performing exactly the same movements all the time. This is probably the single most common mistake people make in the gym – they find a particular program that they like and then just fall in love with it and end up doing the same workout for years on end. Tendon pain, a condition that usually stems from some sort of overuse issue, is often a result.

    No matter how well designed, every workout contains imbalances and blind spots. The only way to keep your body balanced and healthy is to vary the exercises you do on a regular basis. So by all means, get back to it. But make sure not to fall back into the trap of pattern overload. Do barbell curls, dumbbell curls, hammer curls, EZ-curls…any variation you can think of, work it in here and there. I also highly recommend investing in a pair of Fatgripz and using them on a regular basis.

    Best of luck! – Alex

  3. I have pain in my thumbs. Getting weak, hard to pick up things. What is it that I have? Have an appointment with Dr. but don’t want shots, know how they work. Will your book help me?

  4. Thanks for writing in, Beverly. Unfortunately, I’m going to need a little more information before I can venture a guess about your condition.

    Go ahead and see what your doctor says. “Pain in my thumbs” could be anything from arthritis to an RSI to full-blown tendonosis. Once you get your doctor’s diagnosis, please write again and tell me what it is. Also include how old you are, any activities that you think might be contributing to your pain, how long you’ve had it, if there was any specific trauma that started it (I’m guessing no on this one if you have it in both thumbs), etc. Basically, anything that you think might be relevant would be good to know; too much info is better than too little.

    Good luck, and hope to hear back from you soon.

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