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Ask the Experts
Tendons are the tough fibers that connect muscle to bone. For example, the Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Most tendon injuries occur near joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle. A tendon injury may seem to happen suddenly, but usually it is the result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time. Doctors may use different terms to describe a tendon injury. You may hear:
- Tendinitis. This means "inflammation of the tendon."
- Tendinosis. This refers to tiny tears in the tissue in and around the tendon caused by overuse.
Symptoms of Tendon Injury
Tendinopathy usually causes pain, stiffness, and loss of strength in the affected area.
- The pain may get worse when you use the tendon.
- You may have more pain and stiffness during the night or when you get up in the morning.
- Weakness or instability
- The area may be tender, red, warm, or swollen if there is inflammation.
- You may notice a crunchy sound or feeling when you use the tendon.
Causes & Effects
The most common cause of tendinitis is repetitive action. Tendons help you make a certain movement over and over.
Tendinitis can also result from:
- certain diseases, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
- certain antibiotics (quinolones such as Levaquin)