What are the Different Causes of Tendinitis?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2018
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The different causes of tendinitis include repetitive strain to the tendon and a direct trauma injury. Tendinitis is usually a result of recurring, small injuries to the tendon which eventually cause inflammation and pain. It can also be caused by an insufficient warm up, which puts extra stress on the tendon during sporting activities. Other potential causes of tendinitis include infection to the tendon or tendon sheath.

One of the most common causes of tendinitis is overuse. In this case, the injury is a result of excess strain placed on the tendon over a period of time. The strain is commonly caused by poor form or posture during an exercise or repetitive activity or a problem with the body’s biomechanics.

If the quadriceps muscles can’t support the patella properly, for example, then excess strain is placed on the patella tendon beneath the knee. Over time, the tendon becomes inflamed and painful, usually due to activities such as running. To heal, the tendon must be rested, and the initial problem addressed. In this case, once the initial injury has healed, a quadriceps strengthening program may be required.

In some instances, tendinitis may initially be caused by a direct blow to the tendon. A heavy fall on a hard surface, for example, may inflame the tendon. If the inflammation isn’t allowed to heal correctly, then a longterm injury may occur.


Some of the different causes of tendinitis may be avoidable. If the shoes used by a runner have poor arch support, for example, and the feet naturally overpronate, he or she is more likely to suffer from patella tendinitis. The correct footwear can often solve this problem, but in some cases orthotics may also be required.

To minimize injury, it is vital that an athlete performs warm-up exercises before he or she begins a strenuous workout. This allows the muscles to become more flexible and provides greater support to the tendons. Elbow tendinitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, is often caused by an insufficient warm up. As a general rule, athletic activity should be built up gradually; poor conditioning can increase the chance of tendinitis.

If the skin around a tendon becomes damaged, infection can sometimes occur if bacteria enters the wound. Infection can also spread from other parts of the body into the tendon. This usually causes inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tendon, rather than the tendon itself. Antibiotics may be required to solve the problem.



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