Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Itis Schmitis

Tendinitis, bursitis, periostitis, fasciitis and other painful inflammations.

You've been to the doctor to find out why your heel (knee, hip, shin, shoulder, elbow) hurts so much. You can't walk, jog or throw without pain, much less workout like you could six months ago. Your doctor says you have some type of "-itis" - something like tendinitis or bursitis. Now you're wondering what exactly it all means.

Itis is the medical suffix for inflammation. A wide variety of body tissues can be inflamed. Tendinitis means a tendon is inflamed; arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joints. In active people, the most common cause of inflammation is overuse, which results in microscopic damage to tendons and other connective tissues.

Generally these small tears start to bleed; then swelling and increased fluid put pressure on adjacent structures. Inflammation begins as the body tries to heal the damage by increasing blood flow; bringing in cells to repair damage and form new tissue.

If the inflammation is chronic, the new tissue may become scar tissue. This is why you should not ignore even a minor pain. If not treated promptly it can grow into a major hindrance not only to exercise but also to daily life.

The initial effects of inflammation are pain from the damaged tissue and swelling from increased blood supply. Your skin may be red, and you may get a feeling of warmth over the injured area. If your injury is more severe, you'll lose some of your ability to move the injured part of your body.

Inflammation injuries creep up on us. They are not caused by one sudden motion or a fall. Rather, they represent the accumulation of trauma to sensitive tissues. Tissue can withstand and adapt to many types of loads, but there is a limit to how much you can ask of any body part before it reacts with injury.

Overuse injuries are most common in activities involving repetitive motion, such as tennis, softball or swimming, or long duration, such as long distance running. You're more prone to these injuries if your muscles are inflexible, weak or imbalanced; if you increase your activity or mileage too quickly; and if you use improper equipment or poor technique.

There are several types of "itis's" to contend with.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
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Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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