5 Tips for Dealing With Tendonitis

  • Consult your doctor on appropriate anti-inflammatory medication before taking it, and understand any potential side effects.
  • Rest the affected area and apply ice to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Wear supportive gear like a wrist brace or elbow sleeve to provide extra support.
  • Stretch regularly to keep muscles, tendons and ligaments flexible, reducing stress on them.
  • Strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints with resistance exercises for better management of tendonitis.

Tendonitis is painful when the tendons, which connect muscles to bones, become inflamed. It can cause pain and stiffness in any part of your body where you have a tendon. Tendonitis most commonly affects the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Fortunately, several strategies can help you manage the symptoms and return to your daily activities. Read on for five tips for dealing with tendonitis.

Close-Up Photo of a Woman Stretching Her Wrist

1. Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication

One of the most important things you can do to manage tendonitis is to take appropriate anti-inflammatory medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often prescribed for tendonitis, as they help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Taking too much or too little can have serious consequences.

Here are some things to do before you take anti-inflammatory medication:

Consult Your Doctor

It is important to consult a reliable hand doctor before taking any anti-inflammatory medication for tendonitis. Your hand doctor will be able to assess your condition and provide you with the most effective treatment plan. They may also recommend physical therapy, lifestyle changes, or other treatments to help manage your symptoms.

Understand the Potential Side Effects

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects associated with NSAIDs. Common side effects include stomach upset, nausea, and headaches. In some cases, they can also lead to kidney damage or an increased risk of heart attack and stroke when taken in higher doses for a prolonged period.

Read the label carefully

Make sure to read the label carefully when selecting your medication. Ensure you take a product specifically designed for tendonitis and not just any anti-inflammatory medicine. Additionally, follow the directions on the label precisely, as taking too much or too little can have serious consequences.

Consider alternate treatments

Given the potential risks associated with NSAIDs, it is important to consider other treatments for tendonitis. Physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and exercises that target the affected area can all be useful in easing pain and helping manage the condition.

2. Rest and Ice the Injured Area

Resting the injured area is essential to managing tendonitis and is the best way to reduce pain and inflammation. Avoiding activities that cause pain or aggravate the affected area is important. You can also apply ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day, to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

3. Wear Supportive Gear

Wearing supportive gear is an important part of dealing with tendonitis. This can help provide extra support to the affected area, allowing it to heal faster and more effectively. A wrist brace or elbow sleeve are great options depending on where your tendonitis is located. You may want to invest in a good pair of shoes with plenty of cushioning and arch support. This can help reduce the stress on your body and make it easier to stay active without aggravating your condition.

Be sure to wear clothing that is not too tight or restrictive, as this could further irritate the affected area. Taking these steps can go a long way in helping you manage your tendonitis and get back to feeling better.

4. Stretch Regularly

Photography of Woman in Pink Tank Top Stretching Arm

Stretching can be an important part of dealing with tendonitis. Regular stretching helps to keep your muscles, tendons and ligaments flexible, which can help reduce the risk of overstretching or straining them. Stretching can also help reduce pain associated with tendonitis by helping to relax tight muscles and improve circulation throughout the affected area. You should focus on stretching the muscles and tendons around the affected joint and those in other parts of your body that may contribute to your tendonitis.

Make sure to stretch every day, especially before any physical activity, to loosen up your muscles and joints before they become further strained. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times. Make sure to stretch both sides of your body and pay attention to areas that often become tight, such as the back of your neck and shoulders.

5. Strengthen Muscles with Resistance Training

Resistance training can help strengthen the muscles surrounding your tendonitis-affected joints, reducing strain and relieving inflammation. Research recommends using bodyweight exercises or free weights to target the affected area. Exercises can be done in 10–15 repetitions, with rest periods between sets. Examples of exercises include squats, lunges, push-ups, and shoulder presses. Using proper form when performing resistance exercises is important, as an incorrect technique can worsen tendonitis symptoms and increase the risk of injury.

Final Thoughts

There are several simple and effective tips for managing tendonitis, and it’s important to always consult with your doctor before taking any type of medication or beginning an exercise program. The tips above can help you manage your symptoms and return to an active lifestyle.

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