COMMON CONDITIONS

Achilles Tendinitis

The causes of Achilles tendinopathy are not completely understood but we know it occurs when a tendon is unable to adapt to the strain being put through it. Sometimes it starts after an injury or strain to the area and is commonly caused by overloading the tendon, such as suddenly increasing your activity levels.

You are more at risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy if you have diabetes, tight and weak calf muscles, or stiff ankle joints. Tenderness over the Achilles tendon – the area may be very tender to touch. In some people there is a painful lump or swelling in the area;

Stiffness – stiffness in the tendon when you get up in the morning or following a sustained period of rest is common. This usually eases after a few minutes of walking in many cases.

Variable pain – some people only report a mild ache which eases with exercise. Other people can experience very severe pain, which will limit their walking. Often, pain will be increased when you go up onto your toes.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is pressure on a nerve in your wrist. It causes tingling, numbness and pain in your hand and fingers. You can often treat it yourself, but it can take months to improve. An ache or pain in your fingers, hand or arm, numb hands tingling or pins and needles a weak thumb or difficulty gripping. These symptoms often start slowly and come and go. They’re usually worse at night.

 

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition which affects the Ulnar nerve, which is one of the main nerves of your hand. It causes pins and needles, numbness and sometimes pain along your ring and little fingers. You may also have weakness of the hand and, in severe cases, clawing, curling up, of the ring and little fingers.

 

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s Syndrome results in the sheath covering the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist becoming thickened and painful. The sheath normally acts as a tunnel that holds the tendons in place. This allows them to slide up and down freely when the wrist or thumb moves. When the sheath thickens, the tunnel becomes narrower, and it is more difficult for the tendons to slide through. This can result in the tendons becoming inflamed and often results in pain when using the hand. De Quervain’s syndrome is most common in people between the ages of 30 and 55 years, although it can happen at any age. Women are six times more likely to be affected than men. It is more prevalent in women who have a young baby and more common in those women who are breastfeeding. It is unknown whether this is due to hormonal changes due to pregnancy and childbirth, or to lifting and carrying or feeding the baby. There are no causal links between De Quervain’s and occupational risk factor.

 

Distal Bicep Tendonitis

Over time, the biceps tendon can weaken. This is called tendonosis. Tendonosis of the biceps tendon can be painless or cause dull or sharp pain in the tendon area just past the front of the elbow in the forearm. In some cases, tendonosis can lead to partial tendon tears or complete tendon rupture. Biceps tendonosis is one of several possible causes of pain around the elbow. There can be other causes for pain in this area that are unrelated to the health of the tendon.
Biceps tendon tear or rupture often happens without any warning. It typically occurs when lifting heavy objects such as furniture. The object slips, and while you are trying to hold on, your elbow is forcefully straightened by the weight of the object. Weightlifters are more likely to experience this injury when doing “negatives,” which is done while holding a weight and extending the arm at the elbow. Bicep tendonitis is a problem that can happen with any tendon. This term implies that there is inflammation around the tendon. In most cases, this is due to some use of the tendon that causes it to become inflamed. In the case of the biceps tendon, the use that causes the problem can be almost any lifting activity. This is particularly true of repeated lifting activities.

 

Elbow Joint Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The condition usually affects the hands, feet, elbows and wrists. There may be periods where symptoms become worse, known as flare-ups or flares. A flare can be difficult to predict, but with treatment, it’s possible to decrease the number of flares and minimise or prevent long-term damage to the joints. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis also experience problems in other parts of the body, or more general symptoms such as tiredness and weight loss.

 

Elbow Joint Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a wear and repair process and can affect the elbow. However, this is less common than other joints. It can lead to joint pain with limitation of movement, this can affect daily activities. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting approximately 9 million people in the UK. In general people with osteoarthritis of the elbow can manage well and continue with activity and exercise without many problems. In osteoarthritis we see changes to the cartilage of the joint as well as other secondary changes such as inflammation. Cartilage helps our joints move freely. Changes to the cartilage can lead to pain, stiffness, and loss of movement. This can in time lead to weakness around the muscles of the joint. It most commonly affects people older than 45 and is more common if have a family history of it, are overweight or have previously injured the joint in question. Osteoarthritis has varying degrees on functional limitation and effect on quality of life. Contrary to popular belief it does not affect everyone as you get older and does not necessarily get worse.

 

Ganglion Cyst

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled swelling that usually develops near a joint or tendon. The cyst can range from the size of a pea to the size of a golf ball.

 

Golfers Elbow

A soft tissue problem It is similar to Tennis Elbow but the location of the pain is different. Golfer’s Elbow is felt as pain on the inside of the elbow It is a repetitive strain injury caused by overuse of the forearm muscles i.e gripping, lifting and activities that involve repetitive forward bending of the wrist. Golfer’s Elbow is a condition that can get better over time without treatment as long as you stop or reduce activities that aggravate it. It has a similar recovery time to Tennis Elbow of between 6 months – 2 years.

 

Gouty Arthritis

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes sudden attacks of severe joint pain and swelling. Whilst any joint can be affected, gout usually occurs in joints at the end of limbs such as toes (especially the big toe), ankles, knees, and fingers. Gout is about four times more common in men than women and the risk of developing it rises with age. It is uncommon in women before menopause and rare in children. Attacks of gout tend to come on suddenly (often overnight) and usually last for 3-10 days before settling by themselves although will sometimes last considerably longer. Whilst there is no “cure” for gout, there are treatments available that can help relieve the symptoms and reduce the likelihood of further attacks.

 

Knee Tendinitis

Patellar tendinopathy (Sometimes called jumpers’ knee) is a common soft tissue injury that can cause pain in the tendon below the kneecap (patella). It can also cause stiffness and weakness around the knee. The patellar tendon is important as it joins the thigh muscles (quadriceps) to the shin bone via the patella. The quadriceps are very important as they straighten the knee and are involved in functional everyday activities such as running, walking and going up and down stairs. Patellar tendinopathy occurs when the patellar tendon is overused /overloaded. The tendon struggles to cope with the pressure put upon it, resulting in micro injuries and changes to its structure. This causes pain.

 

Knee Bursitis

Bursitis is when a joint becomes painful and swollen with inflammation of the small sac of fluid at the front of the knee (bursa) it is often caused by repetitive or prolonged periods of kneeling. The bursa is present to prevent friction. If this becomes inflamed, it can be painful. It can also be caused by a one-off injury or by an infection.

 

Ligament Injuries

Sprains and strains are common injuries; the damage surrounding joints or tendons may cause persistent pain and swelling, affecting the muscles and ligaments.

 

Olecranon Bursitis

The olecranon bursa is a sac overlying the elbow’s olecranon process (the bony tip) beneath the skin. It reduces friction on movement between the skin, tendons, ligaments, and bone, and allows them to glide smoothly over one another. Bursitis occurs when the bursa is irritated and inflamed. This can be a result of overuse or trauma. It can be due to an infection within the bursal sac. If there are any signs of infection (redness, heat, swelling and tenderness worsening or feeling unwell) this needs to be treated immediately. Olecranon bursitis is more common in Young or middle-aged men. People in jobs which involve risk of regular elbow trauma or pressure on the bursa. For example, gardeners and mechanics. Athletes who play sports which involve repetitive overhead throwing or elbow flexion and extension.

 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff. Some people also have symptoms such as Swelling, tenderness, grating or crackling sound when moving the affected joints The severity of osteoarthritis symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and between different affected joints. Some people’s symptoms can be mild and may come and go. Other people can experience more continuous and severe problems which make it difficult to carry out everyday activities. Most joints can be affected by osteoarthritis, but the condition most often causes problems in the knees, hips and small joints of the hands.

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and irritated near where it attaches to the heel bone. It can occur suddenly but more often it develops gradually over a period of time.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The condition usually affects the hands, feet and wrists. There may be periods where symptoms become worse, known as flare-ups or flares. A flare can be difficult to predict, but with treatment it’s possible to decrease the number of flares and minimise or prevent long-term damage to the joints. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis also experience problems in other parts of the body, or more general symptoms such as tiredness and weight loss.

 

Rotator Cuff Injury

Rotator cuff-related shoulder pain (sometimes called subacromial) is very common and causes pain in the shoulder and upper arm. It can spread further down the arm and up towards the neck and shoulder blade. It can feel worse when the arm is moved away from the body such as reaching up or when placing the hand behind the back. Pain can come on slowly over time or quite quickly if the shoulder has been used for an much more demanding activity than it is used to each day. The ‘Rotator Cuff’ is the name given to the set of muscles and tendons that all have to work together to stabilise the shoulder through movement. Rotator cuff disorders are often due to age-related changes to the tendon however they can also be caused by trauma, overload, or repetitive movements. It commonly affects people between the ages of 35-75 years.

 

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. It’s clinically known as lateral epicondylitis. It often happens after overuse or repeated action of the muscles of the forearm, near the elbow joint. You may notice pain on the outside of the elbow, which may travel down the forearm when: lifting or bending your arm, when gripping small objects, such as a pen, when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar You may also find it difficult to fully extend your arm.

 

Triceps Tendinopathy

Triceps Tendinopathy is the term used to describe an overuse injury to the tendon. This could be due to repetitive activities, such as sustained screwdriver use. Sometimes it can be due to starting a new sport or activity where the tendon is not yet strong enough to tolerate it.

 

Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a condition that affects one or more of the hand’s tendons, making it difficult to bend the affected finger or thumb. If a tendon or the tunnel a tendon runs through (called the tendon sheath) becomes swollen and inflamed, the tendon gets irritated and can “catch” in the tendon sheath. This can make it difficult to move the affected finger or thumb and can result in a clicking sensation. Trigger finger is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis or stenosing tenovaginosis. It can affect the thumb and any finger. One or more fingers can be affected, and the problem may develop in both hands.

 

Trigger Thumb

Trigger thumb is a condition that affects one or more of the hand’s tendons, making it difficult to bend the affected finger or thumb. If a tendon or the tunnel a tendon runs through (called the tendon sheath) becomes swollen and inflamed, the tendon gets irritated and can “catch” in the tendon sheath. This can make it difficult to move the affected finger or thumb and can result in a clicking sensation. Trigger finger is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis or stenosing tenovaginosis. It can affect the thumb and any finger. One or more fingers can be affected, and the problem may develop in both hands.

 

Trochanteric Bursitis

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) is a common condition characterised by pain along the outer side of your hip/thigh/buttock. This is usually caused by an injury or irritation to the soft tissue structures(muscles/tendons/bursa) that lie over the top of your outer thigh bone. GTPS was traditionally more commonly known as hip/trochanteric bursitis as it was thought that pain was mainly related to inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sac that cushions between bone and tendons). Research has shown that pain in this area is due to small (and often repetitive) injuries to the gluteal (buttock)muscles and tendons (usually gluteus minimus and gluteus medius). This can cause what is called gluteal tendinopathy.