Those Suffering From Tendinitis Can Use These Tips for Pain Relief

Physical therapist using electrodes on patient arm
Tendinitis has several different causes. Hero Images / Getty Images

Tendinitis is a condition where the tissue connecting the muscle to the bone becomes inflamed. This usually occurs when someone overuses or injures a tendon during a sport. The parts of the body most commonly affected include the elbow, wrist, finger, and thigh.

How People Often Get Tendinitis

Common types of tendinitis (also known as tendonitis) includes tennis or golfer's elbow, De Quervain's tenosynovitis, and swimmer's shoulder.

Tendinitis is most associated with older people, due to elasticity and weakness in age, as well as with adults who are active in sports. Tendinosis is similar to tendinitis but has chronic, long-term, and degenerative effects.

Everyday activities that can cause tendinitis to come about may include household tasks like cleaning, gardening, painting, scrubbing, and shoveling. There are also more stagnant issues, like poor posture or stretching before activities, which can increase risk factors.

Avoid Wearing a Brace for Tendinitis

When dealing with tendinitis, limiting the repetitive stress is good but immobilizing the joint is bad. The worst is when you wear a brace and continue to use the joint that's suffering from tendinitis, as the injury needs rest. A brace is often used as a crutch, and much like walking on a sprained ankle, you will continue to injure the tendon.

You should not use a brace or splint unless under the direction of a medical professional who is proficient in repetitive stress treatments.

If you are treating your tendinitis yourself, however, follow the guidelines below.

Support Your Tendinitis in an Alternative Way

Use a brace only at times of rest, when you won't be tempted to overuse the injured joint. At other times, allow pain to be your guide: if it hurts, don't do it. Remember that the goal is to heal the injury, not continue to work, further injuring the body.

If you need to use the joint, consider using a flexible support item, such as a sports wrap bandage. This can keep the area warm and supported while limiting the range of motion. You'll have less chance of causing further injury to the affected area or to overstress a new area (which can thereby injure that, a common side effect of using a brace).

Get Help for the Pain

Tendinitis pain can be helped in several ways, including with rest, slowing down exercises, applying ice and cold packs to the affected area, and using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen. Tendinitis tends to fade in four to six weeks when properly healing.

Getting enough sleep is also important and will help with overall health and fitness. It's equally as important to keep exercising, but any activity that will stress the affected area is to be avoided at all costs, even if the pain has stopped. Avoiding any motion that caused pain in the first place is recommended. Applying a range of motion exercises, like gently moving the joint through its full range of motion, also helps to prevent stiffness and strengthen the muscle around it.