Tendinitis: Definition and What it is

Medically and clinically reviewed by Jonathan Lee, MD and Dylan Peterson, PT, DPT

Tendinitis Definition and Meaning

Tendinitis (also spelled tendonitis) occurs when a tendon — a type of fibrous connective tissue that links your muscles and bones — becomes inflamed or injured. 

Tendinitis Symptoms

Tendinitis can cause pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion, as well as spasms, weakness, and cramping

Types of Tendinitis

You can experience tendinitis anywhere there’s a tendon, including in your foot, ankle, hip, wrist, Achilles tendon, biceps, and triceps. Other conditions, like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and jumper’s knee, are also forms of tendinitis. 

Tendinitis: A Hinge Health Perspective

Learning about conditions that cause pain can be alarming. We know from Hinge Health members and research studies that anatomical labels can backfire when it comes to your treatment and recovery. When people hear they may have a condition like tendinitis, it can cause feelings of panic, like you have something "wrong" that needs to be fixed. This way of thinking about pain is largely outdated.

 For most common musculoskeletal conditions, regardless of what may or may not be contributing to pain in your tissues, the solution is often the same. Movement — through physical and exercise therapy — can build strength, flexibility, and resilience to pain in and around the affected tendon. 

How Physical Therapy Can Help With Tendinitis

Physical therapy can aid in easing tendinitis symptoms, not just because you learn specific stretching and strengthening exercises for your muscles and tendons, but because exercise therapy helps you find your movement sweet spot. A physical therapist (PT) can help you try different levels of intensity. Too intense? Back off a bit so you don’t ramp up inflammation. Too easy? Push yourself to work the muscles more. When you find your sweet spot, you’ll be able to continue to engage your muscles without raising the risk of irritation or injury. You can see a physical therapist in person or use a program like Hinge Health to access a PT via telehealth/video visit.

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you. 

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. 

Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.


  1. Tendinitis. (n.d.). Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/tendinitis

  2. Tendonitis (Tendinitis): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments. (n.d.). Hospital for Special Surgery. Retrieved from https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_tendonitis.asp

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