The Tendons

The Tendons

The Tendons: What is the tendon?

Tendons are the fibrous tissue that connects muscles with bones. Tendons are flexible, tough and dense fibrous tissues that attach to muscle through a myotendinous junction and bone through enthesis. They are powerful and have the highest tensile strength found among all soft tissues of your body.

So, they can easily transmit the mechanical force of the muscle contraction to the bone, so you can maintain balance, do an activity or movement.

Functions of the tendon:

As part of the connective tissue and skeletal muscle, all the tendons have the very important functions of maintaining posture, joint movement, working against a force or doing any forcefully work etc. Let's read how medical science describes the function of tendons-

  1. Tendon connects muscle to the bone and transmits the force of muscle contraction to the bone.
  2. It helps to move our body parts.
  3. It helps to maintain our posture, position of the limbs and joints.
  4. Tendon gives the flexibility of The joints to provide a wide range of joint movements.
  5. It protects joints from external injuries and overstretching.

Clinical significance:

The typical clinical scenario for a tendon is tendinitis. Tendinitis is the inflammation, irritation, injury or microscopic tear of tendons. In tendinitis, pain, tenderness, and swelling are developed around the affected joint and tendon. If tendinitis persists for a long time, chronic tendinitis may develop and complicate joint deformity and restricted joint movement.

Overuse or workload on tendons is the key factor in developing tendinitis. So, some occupations and sports involving repetitive joint movements, bad posture, frequent overhead reaching, vibration, and forceful movement help develop tendinitis. In addition, some medical condition like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, diabetes, etc. rarely causes tendinitis. However, direct trauma may cause a severe condition like tendon rupture.

Tendinitis can occur in any tendon of the body at any age, but it is more common in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels, and older adults are affected more.

Rest, physiotherapy and medications to reduce pain are the primary treatment modalities to treat tendinitis. But in severe cases, a tendon may be ruptured, and surgery may be required.

Tendon vs Ligaments

Sometimes we mixed the terms tendon and ligament. But both are different things. Tendons are the fibrous connective tissue that usually attaches muscle to bone. But they may also make a connection between muscle and other structures like eyeballs. A tendon helps to move bone by transmitting the force from the muscle to bone.

But what about ligaments?

Ligaments are also fibrous connective tissue, but they connect bone to bone. They are usually present in the joints, connect joint surfaces of the bones, and keep them stable.

So there is a huge difference between tendon and ligaments. Both are completely different in their structure, origin and function. So, any disease in the ligaments or tendons should be treated carefully because they are less vascular than the other part of our body.


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Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

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