A recent post reviewed some types of arthritis that aren’t the most commonly known but are still very prevalent. Since all of the different types of arthritis couldn’t be covered in just one article, they are continued here. Last time we went over fibromyalgia, lupus, gout and some of the types of bursitis. Today we will finish discussing the rest of the types of bursitis and the different types of tendinitis as well.
This bursa, the small sac located between a bone and muscle, skin or tendon, is located at the back of the heel. Bursitis in this area is associated with ankylosing spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis. It may occur in healthy individuals who wear improperly fitted shoes. Symptoms may include painful swelling that develops at the back of the heel.
This bursa is located at the sole or bottom of the heel. Inflammation usually produces pain in the heel when standing. Causes may include heel spurs, excess weight, injury to the heel, or improperly fitted shoes.
Types of Tendinitis
Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of the tendon, a thick cord that attaches muscle to bone. Tendons transmit the power generated by muscles to move the bones. Following are some of the main types of tendinitis.
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis & Impingement Syndrome
The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles. These muscles move the shoulder away from the side of the body, and turn the arm inward and outward. Rotator cuff tendinitis occurs when a shoulder injury or overuse of the shoulder causes tendons to become irritated or inflamed. Impingement or pinching occurs when the tendons are pinched between structures that are involved in shoulder motion. Symptoms include sudden, severe pain in the upper shoulder or third of the arm, aching in the shoulder region, difficulty sleeping on the shoulder or pain when lifting the arm above the head.
The bicep tendon is located in the front of the shoulder. It helps to bend the elbow and turn the forearm. Overuse or injury are usually the cause of inflammation in this tendon. Symptoms may include pain in the front or side of the shoulder that may travel down the elbow or forearm.
De Quervain’s Tendinitis
De Quervain’s tendinitis results from overuse of the thumb tendons, often caused by repeated pinching with the thumb while moving the wrist. It can occur with activities such as writing, gardening or fine handiwork. It commonly occurs in women during and after pregnancy. Symptoms may include pain over the wrist on the side of the thumb, especially with motion.
The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle to the heel in order to lift the heel off of the ground. Achilles tendinitis usually occurs due to a sports injury but can also be caused by improperly fitted shoes. Symptoms may include ankle stiffness and pain or swelling in the back of the ankle when pushing off the ball of the foot.
Other Types of Soft Tissue Rheumatic Syndromes & Myofascial Pain
Myofascial pain occurs in areas of muscles, often the neck, back and shoulders. It is associated with sensitive, hard areas called trigger points. When a trigger point is pressed, it may cause pain to spread away from the contact point. Myofascial pain is associated with a firm knot or band within the affected muscle. Myofascial back pain is a dull, aching pain located in the connective tissue (the fascia) or in the muscles of the lower back or buttocks. Causes may include minor injury or strain to the back without an actual herniation or fracture. This condition may be associated with degenerative arthritis of the back and symptoms may include painful muscle or fatty and fibrous bumps that, when pressured, cause pain that travels down the buttocks into the thigh.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
With carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve that passes between the wrist bones and a strong ligament on the bottom of the wrist may be compressed. This nerve supplies sensation to the first three fingers and part of the ring finger. This nerve also provides signals to the thumb muscles. Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include injury from repetitive use, thyroid disease, diabetes, pregnancy, infection, rheumatoid arthritis, and other types of inflammatory arthritis. Symptoms include numbness or tingling in the hand, initially overnight or when the wrist is flexed for an extended period; feelings of swelling in the hand, weakness in the thumb with pinching motion, and unexplained hand pain.
A similar condition is called tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can affect the nerve located in the inner part of the ankle that supplies sensation to the toes and the sole of the foot. Compression of this nerve at the ankle can occur with ankle fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, or foot deformities. Symptoms include a painful burning feeling in the foot or toes; and pain may be partially relieved by certain movements of the foot, ankle, or leg.
Tennis Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
The epicondyle is the area where the muscles of the forearm attach to the outside bone of the elbow. Overuse of these muscles occurs in sports like tennis that require forced extension or rotation of the wrist or hand. Gardening, using tools, or clenching your hand for a long time may also cause epicondylitis. Symptoms can include aching pain on the outside of the elbow that can travel down the forearm, with handshakes, movement of the fingers, lifting with the wrist, turning a doorknob or pretty much any turning motion in the wrist.
Although we still haven’t covered all forms of arthritis, syndromes or myofascial pain; we have gone over a good many. There are so many types of pain and there are even more forms of treatment. Try some natural creams or supplements before going straight to a prescription. But be sure to talk to your doctor before trying anything new!
About the Authors
William Goolsbee has spent his career in Life Sciences including leading roles in drug development in immunology and genetic medicine. Recent senior positions include Chairman of the Board at Sarepta Therapeutics and Founder and CEO at Metrodora Therapeutics.
Dr. Gil Price
Gil Price M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at the Propharma Group, where he provides medical supervision for all clinical trials. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Drug Safety Solutions, where he oversaw safety monitoring for drugs in clinical development. Dr. Price also served as the Director of Clinical Development at Medimmune Oncology and Director of Medical Affairs at Glaxo.