How to Treat Tendinitis


You spent the day cleaning out your attic, and you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. The cobwebs are gone, the boxes are sorted and stacked, and you actually managed to throw some things away. Unfortunately, you also managed to set off a bout of tendinitis in your arms and shoulders.

Tendons are strong cords of fiber that connect your muscles to your bones or to other muscles. When the tendons become inflamed, you have tendinitis. Tendons are so strong that you may pull off a piece of bone rather than tear them when you get injured. However, they can be pushed too far, and the price you pay is pain.

  • Rest. If you have tendinitis, you’ve probably already overdone it. Now you need to give those inflamed tendons time to heal. Don’t make your problem worse by trying to keep working through your pain.

Treat Tendinitis

  • Put it on ice. Ice may prevent swelling as well as deaden the nerves that help you feel pain. You can buy ice packs at the store, or you can make your own by filling a plastic bag with ice. Wrap a towel around your ice pack to protect your skin, and don’t apply ice for more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Heat it up. If you already have swelling, heat may work better than ice. The warmth increases your blood flow which may speed healing. Heat also can be relaxing. You can use an electric heating pad, take a hot bath, or apply hot wet towels to the painful area.
  • Ease the pain. Aspirin and ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and inflammation of tendinitis.

If you’ve tried the above recommendations and are still in pain, or if your pain is severe, your doctor may give you a steroid shot to help speed healing.

The long-range plan for tendinitis

You love to spend your weekends doing something physical. You work in the yard, play tennis, or spend hours swimming at the local pool. While this may be lots of fun, weekend-only activity can lead to repeated bouts of tendinitis. To keep pain from spoiling your weekend fun, practice a few simple rules of prevention.

  • Stretch it out. Do some stretching exercises every day to keep your tendons strong and flexible. It is especially important to stretch before jumping into any type of strenuous exercise.
  • Take it easy. Be careful when you exercise to keep from straining your tendons or muscles. Make sure you lift heavy objects properly. Even carrying a heavy shoulder bag, book bag, or briefcase can put a strain on your arm or shoulder.
  • Make it strong. One of the best ways to prevent the pain of overexertion is to make sure you exer­cise regularly. If your arms and shoulders get plenty of use, sudden exertion is less likely to cause a problem. Make sure you are comfortable with the exercises, then gradually make them more difficult. If an exercise is causing you pain, ease up. Pain is a warning signal, and you should pay attention to it.

Don’t let tendinitis or other arm pain put a crimp in your activities. A little extra care will ensure that you keep going strong all weekend and on into the week.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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