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Jeffrey Lai, MD -  - Regenerative Sports Medicine Physician

Jeffrey Lai, MD

Regenerative Sports Medicine Physician & Hormone Specialist located in Torrance, CA

Tendinitis is one of the most common types of soft tissue injury, especially in athletes. If you have tendinitis in any form, sports medicine expert Jeffrey Lai, MD, CAQSM, RMSK, offers comprehensive diagnosis and a range of effective treatments at his eponymous practice in Torrance, California. Treatments include musculoskeletal ultrasound guided injections with orthobiologics such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) . Call Dr. Lai today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online form.

Tendinitis Q & A


What is tendinitis?

Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are tough, fibrous lengths of connective tissue that attach your muscles onto your bones. They stretch to enable you to move, then contract to pull the joint back to its normal position.

You have tendons in the joints all around your body, from large ones like the Achilles tendon in your heel to small tendons in your hands that help you grip and move your fingers. Tendinitis occurs when something irritates or damages the tendon, causing inflammation.

Common types of tendinitis include:

  • Achilles tendinitis (heel)
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis (shoulder)
  • Patellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee)

Left untreated, tendinitis can become a chronic problem called tendinosis, in which the collagen fibers in your tendons break down.


What causes tendonitis?

There are numerous potential causes of tendinitis. Some of the most common include:

  • Increased activity levels
  • Overuse or repetitive strain
  • Unsuitable equipment
  • Trauma
  • Increase in body weight 
  • Having short tendons
  • Skeletal abnormalities
  • Aging

Tendinitis can happen as an acute injury, but it’s far more common for it to develop over time. Small tears develop in the fibers that make up the tendon, which leads to inflammation. The inflammation causes pain in the outside of the joint and reduced mobility, and you may have some swelling.


How is tendonitis treated?

Mild tendinitis often responds well to home treatments. Rest, raising your leg if you have Achilles or knee tendinitis, and using ice packs can relieve the inflammation and give the tissues time to heal. As your tendon recovers, gentle stretching exercises and massage can help.

If your tendinitis pain is severe, lasts more than a few days, or is getting worse, you should visit Dr. Lai. He can assess the injury and prescribe further treatments to help the tendon to heal. You might need to follow a physical therapy program for instance. Steroid injections can also help reduce pain and inflammation.


What other treatments could help with tendinitis?

Dr. Lai has had great success using orthobiologics, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and orthopedic stem cell therapy to treat tendinitis. These treatments use cells taken from your own blood or bone marrow that are concentrated and then injected back into the damaged tissues. The growth factors and other proteins in the platelets and stem cells improve the speed and quality of the healing process. 

Another method of healing damaged tendons is with prolotherapy. This involves injecting a mild irritant substance into the tissues to kick-start healing.

If you have tendinitis symptoms, call Jeffrey Lai, MD, today or book an appointment online.