If you golf, play tennis, run, or put repetitive strain on any of your joints, you may develop tendonitis. It’s a condition in which the tissue that connects muscles in your forearm, shoulder, wrist, ankle or kneecap becomes inflamed from overuse.
Tendonitis comes in many forms, including tennis and golfer’s elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, Achilles tendinitis, and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, but the symptoms are more or less the same – pain that worsens with movement.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation of tendonitis flareups:
· Rest the joint –First, stop or slow down whatever you’re doing that is causing your pain. This will help reduce the inflammation. For example, if you are typing all day or participating in a sport, take frequent breaks or refrain entirely until your pain subsides. Then, reduce the intensity of your activity.
· Isolate – Wearing a bandage, splint or brace may reduce movement, allowing you to heal. For harder to reach places like the hip or shoulder, consider applying KT Tape to limit motion and keep the area secure.
· Apply heat or cold – You can alleviate pain and swelling in the painful area by applying an ice pack or a warm towel. Ice is best for an injury that has occurred within the last 24-48 hours. If you have lingering pain after 48 hours, heat is more effective. Other forms of relief include a warm bath or applying a topical medicinal ointment that heats the affected area. Note: if you choose ice, but sure to wrap it in a towel. Do not apply ice directly onto your skin.
· Take pain-relieving medication – Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers have been found effective in helping relieve tendon pain. Tumeric is a great natural alternative to anti-inflammatory medications.
· Get a massage – Gentle, soothing manipulation of the affected area can provide relief and speed up the healing process. You can also try Epsom soaks if you prefer to stay closer to home or can’t find a massage therapist who makes house calls.
· Try some stretching exercises – These are known to strengthen the affected muscle and tendon. A physical therapist can recommend specific exercises.
· Ask your doctor about cortisteroid injections – Administered by a trained specialist, these may help alleviate your symptoms, but repeated injections can also weaken the tendon. Consult with your orthopedic physician as to whether this is an option for you.
If none of these remedies work and your tendonitis persists due for any reason, to include calcium deposits around the affected tendon, your doctor may recommend extracorporeal shock wave therapy – in which a shock wave passes through your skin to break up the calcium deposits – or surgery to remove the deposits.
One of the best ways to ease your tendonitis pain is to prevent it in the first place. You can reduce your risk by avoiding repetitive movements or staying in one position for too long. Warming up and stretching before engaging in sports activities and cooling-down exercises after you finish also helps.
Also, avoid inflammatory foods such as those that are fried, sugary or loaded with sodium. Instead, consume high-quality proteins, fruits and vegetables. Wild-caught fish is a good source of anti-inflammatory mega-3 fatty acids, and such items as grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs, leafy green vegetables, berries and other fruit are all especially beneficial.