"Most people have probably heard the term "tendonitis", but what is it and what are the symptoms of tendonitis? Tendonitis can occur at various locations in the body, including elbow tendonitis, wrist tendonitis, shoulder tendonitis, and in other joints such as the knee or ankle. Tendons are thick cords that connect muscles to bones. The tendons naturally stretch and contract with use. Tendons can become injured suddenly or gradually. A sudden stretch that pulls too hard on the tendon can cause tendonitis, as can repetitive motions that stress the tendon by over-working it. When tendonitis is caused by repetitive motions, it usually develops over a long period of time. It can take months or years of repetitive movement to cause tendonitis. If the stressed tendon tears and heals, scar tissue can form and this may cause chronic tendonitis, with chronic inflammation and pain.
How does tendonitis affect computer users?
Computer users most commonly develop tendonitis in the wrist or hand. When tendonitis is not treated and the symptoms become worse, it can develop into carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the nerve leading from the forearm to the hand becomes compressed and it is being irritated by the structures surrounding it.
What causes tendonitis?
Tendonitis causes are usually easy to establish. When repeated movements put strain on the tendon, the tendon becomes inflamed and painful. The pain can be apparent during the actual movement (typing), or at other times such as during periods of rest. The sensation can also feel like "grinding" or "burning." Because the tendon is inflamed, the site of the tendonitis can be tender to the touch. The symptoms of tendonitis can be apparent with other movements that utilize the same tendon that has been injured. For example, a person who has tendonitis of the wrist caused by repetitive keyboard use may also feel the same pain when setting the table for dinner or writing out something by hand with a pen and paper.
How is tendonitis treated?
Initially tendonitis is treated with ice packs, anti-inflammatory medication, and splinting or bracing of the affected area. Adjusting your work space to decrease pressure put on the back, arms, wrists, neck, and hands can be addressed through exploring the ergonomic aspects of your chair height, use of arm supports, keyboard and mouse characteristics, and positioning of the computer monitor. To avoid tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, make sure that the computer keyboard and height of your chair are adjusted so that when you are typing, your forearms and hands are at the same height and the wrists are not bent forward or backward. While typing, the wrists should be floating above the keyboard. Use a wrist rest to adjust the angle of the wrists if needed." (Continued via Ezine Articles) [Ergonomics Resources]