Tendonitis, or tendinitis, is irritation and/or inflammation of a tendon, which is the thick, fibrous cord attaching your muscles to your bones.
This condition results in pain and tenderness just outside of a joint. While it is true that tendonitis can occur in anywhere in your body that a tendon is located, it most commonly occurs around shoulders, wrists, heels, and elbows.
Some of the common names for tendonitis problems are:
- Golfers/Tennis Elbow
- Swimmers/Pitchers Shoulder
- Jumpers Knee
If tendonitis is severe and results in a tendon rupturing, you might need surgery to repair it.
However, rest assured that most of the time, tendonitis can be successfully treated with plenty of rest, physical therapy, and possibly some pain relievers.
You can also use some natural, at-home cures to treat the pain of your tendonitis- more on that later.
Symptoms of Tendonitis
The signs and symptoms of tendonitis will occur where the tendon attaches to the bone and usually includes the following:
- Pain, typically a dull ache, especially when moving the limb/joint that is affected
- Swelling in the limb/joint that is affected
- Tenderness in the limb/joint that is affected
Causes of Tendonitis
Though it is true that tendonitis can be a result of a sudden injury, it is much more likely that it is due to repetitive movements over a period of time most of the time, an individual will develop tendonitis because their job or hobby requires them to make repetitive motions, putting stress on the tendons necessary for that particular task.
It is very important to make sure that you are using the proper technique when performing repetitive motions, such as in sports or job-related functions.
Using the improper technique can overload the tendon, which leads to tendonitis.
Risk Factors for Tendonitis
You should know that there are some risk factors that increase your chances of developing tendonitis, such as: age, working in a particular job, or playing specific sports.
Age as a Risk Factor
As you age, your tendons will become much less flexible, which will make them much more likely to become injured.
Occupations as a Risk Factor
Individuals who work in certain jobs are much more likely to develop tendonitis, these are jobs that involve things such as:
- Awkward positions
- Repetitive motions
- Forceful exertion
- Frequent overhead reaching
Sports as a Risk Factor
If you participate in specific sports, you may be much more likely to develop tendonitis, especially those that involve repetitive movements and your technique is less than ideal. This includes sports such as:
Typically, tendonitis can be diagnosed in a simple physical exam. However, if your physician feels that he/she needs to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms, you may need to undergo x-rays or other imaging tests.
You should know that if you don’t get proper treatment, you could possibly experience a tendon rupture, which is a more serious condition that will most likely require surgery to repair.
Natural Cures for Tendonitis
By making sure to follow proper ergonomic postures while performing tasks, you can effectively find some relief from this condition.
OTC creams and NSAIDs are usually the “go-to” treatments for physicians. Though these have been proven to be effective for pain relief, there are some proven natural remedies that can also provide some effective, long-term relief from tendonitis.
Most commonly, the cure for tendonitis includes RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Following is an explanation of these four treatments:
Many times, tendonitis is due to damage or an injury to the tendons as a result of too much physical activity.
Therefore, when you are experiencing tendonitis, it is very important that you refrain from those physical activities as much as possible in order to reduce the inflammation of the tendons.
Taking some time to rest from these activities will help to alleviate the problem of tendonitis.
One of the best ways to take care of this condition on your own is by restricting the mobility of the affected joint- perhaps with a splint or a brace. Also, making sure to get proper rest can help you to heal at a much faster pace.
Putting ice on the affected area is a great way to soothe the pain, swelling, and tenderness of tendonitis.
Additionally, heat is a great way to relax the inflamed and strained areas. Try alternating ice and heat until you begin to feel some relief.
Using compression wraps is one of the favorite treatment methods for individuals who are dealing with tendonitis.
Compression provides relief from the pain. However, you should be aware that compression does not help with chronic cases of tendonitis.
Elevation is one of the more traditional natural remedies for treating tendonitis. Placing the affected area in an elevated position helps to relax the inflamed muscles and tendons.
However, though the above tips will help to control the symptoms of the condition, they do not treat the source of your problem. The good news is, there are some natural remedies that will help you to achieve this goal.
Nutrition for Treating Tendonitis
You already know that it’s better for your overall health if you consume more whole foods and fresh fruits and veggies, as well as meat and fish.
However, did you know that it can also help you to deal with your tendonitis? These foods provide necessary nutrients to your body and can help to alleviate inflammation.
Make sure to avoid acidic meats, since they will contribute to inflammation and possibly even make it worse.
Nutritionists suggests that you consume meats such as turkey, chicken, ostrich, and duck.
Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements help to cure tendonitis. Foods containing vitamin C, zinc, and potassium are also wonderful at reducing inflammation related to tendonitis.
Herbs to Treat and Cure Tendonitis
There are many herbs that have been proven to be effective at helping to treat and even cure tendonitis.
Most of them are wonderful to maintain the health of cartilage and connective tissues. Following are some of the herbs that are great for tendonitis.
- Cat’s Claw
The above natural remedies are great for treating tendonitis. However, if your symptoms persist or get worse, you should cease trying to treat the condition on your own and see your physician immediately.