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How can I tell the difference between tendinitis or arthritis?

EmergeOrtho’s physicians are leaders in their field; they are dedicated orthopedic professionals with extensive experience treating tendinitis and arthritis. This means you’ll receive an accurate diagnosis, compassionate care and a treatment plan customized just for you.

At first glance, tendinitis and arthritis have many similarities. Both can severely limit your activities, and both can cause debilitating pain. However, the diagnoses are very different.

Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon, a band of tissue that connects muscle to bone (Arthritis.org). It is most commonly the result of overuse during physical activities. Repetitive motions can stretch and irritate the tendon, causing pain and swelling. Tendinitis occurs around joints such as the elbow, shoulder, wrist, ankle, or knee.

Arthritis is the inflammation of your joints (Mayo Clinic). The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, can affect any joint in the body, but most often afflicts the knees, hips, and fingers. Most people will develop osteoarthritis from the normal wear and tear on the joints through the years. Joints contain cartilage, a rubbery material that cushions the ends of bones and facilitates movement. Over time, or if the joint has been injured, the cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint start rubbing together. As bones rub together, bone spurs may form and the joint becomes stiff after long periods of activity or inactivity.

When you’re experiencing pain that makes it impossible for you to enjoy your favorite everyday activities, it doesn’t matter whether it’s tendinitis or arthritis. All you want is for the pain to end so you can get on with your active lifestyle.

However, a proper diagnosis is vital if you’re to emerge from your situation better and stronger. Our orthopedic specialists have spent decades treating patients with all types of tendon and joint injuries. Contact us so we can get to the source of your problem.

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