A tendon is a band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones. When the tendon is stretched, the friction of the fibers may cause tendinitis, ie an inflammation that results in pain and sometimes swelling occurs.
The most commonly affected tendons are those of the shoulder, elbow (tennis elbow), wrist, knee and heel (Achilles tendon).
Tendinitis is most common in athletes or in people who perform repetitive actions. It is usually caused in athletes by intense, prolonged and repeated physical exertion.
Medications such as fluoroquinolones (an antibacterial sometimes used for the treatment of respiratory or urinary infections) and anabolic steroids can also cause tendinitis in some cases. Some figures:
- Among people having tendonitis in the Achilles heel, 89% are men.
- 53% of people who have had an injury to the Achilles tendon are runners.
- Tennis Elbow affects 1-2% of the population and is 2 to 3.5 times more common in people over 40 than under 40 years.
- Tendinitis of the knee affects mainly soccer players (21%), long-distance runners (13%) and volleyball players (12%).
Tendinitis and Curcumin / Turmeric
A study published in 2011 by a group of German and British researchers evaluated the effect of curcumin on inflammation using a model of human tendon cells.
The results of this study suggest that curcumin counteracts significant inflammatory pathways involved in the development of tendinitis.
The researchers hope that curcumin could become a natural alternative to conventional anti-inflammatory drugs that may have unwanted side effects.
Buhrmann C, Mobasheri A, Busch F, Aldinger C, Stahlmann R, Montaseri A, Shakibaei M. Curcumin modulates nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB)-mediated inflammation in human tenocytes in vitro: role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway. J Biol Chem. 2011 Aug 12;286(32):28556-66
Maffulli N, Wong J, Almekinders LC. Types and epidemiology of tendinopathy. Clin Sports Med. 2003 Oct;22(4):675-92