Tendinitis and arthritis are both common conditions that cause inflammation. While these conditions have distinct differences, they also have shared symptoms. Here, we’ll clarify the differences between tendinitis and arthritis so that you can better understand the source of your pain.
What is Tendinitis?
Tendons are fibrous, cord-like tissues that connect muscle to bone. Without tendons, we wouldn’t be able to use our muscles to move bones and other bodily structures properly.
Tendinitis is a condition that occurs when a tendon becomes irritated or inflamed. While some cases of tendinitis can be caused by a sudden impact or injury, most cases are triggered by overuse of the tendon. Additionally, tendinitis can affect any of the tendons in the body but is most common in the elbow, shoulder, wrist, heel (Achilles tendon), and knee.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis refers to inflammation in a joint, leading to pain and stiffness. There are many different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joint, usually due to age. Repeated stress on the joint causes the cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions the joint, to break down. This increases the friction between the bones in the joint and triggers inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. With this form of arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. This condition can cause highly painful inflammation.
Differentiating Tendinitis and Arthritis
The main difference between tendinitis and arthritis is the type of tissues that they impact. While tendinitis affects tendons, arthritis impacts the joints. That being said, both of these conditions cause similar pain and inflammation. So, if tendinitis develops in a tendon near a joint, many people wrongfully identify it as arthritis.
Both tendinitis and arthritis may be successfully treated with regenerative medicine, including stem cell therapy. To learn more, schedule an appointment at the Regenerative Orthopedic Institute today!