What to do for actual tendonitis

Most of my website is dedicated to getting people to understand that, in many cases, what’s called “tendonitis” is actually tendonosis. But sometimes people really do have tendonitis…i.e., a problem with inflammation. If this is you, then take a look at the following for some free advice about what you can do for it.

1. Rest. One of the major causes of inflammation is too much in the way of repetitive motion, especially motion that may not be ideal in terms of biomechanics. So if at all possible, stop doing whatever is causing you pain.

If you can’t stop because the motion is part of your job, then try to see if you can somehow change the pattern a bit. Mouse with the opposite hand. (Yes, it’ll take a week or so to get good with your non-dominant hand. Sorry.) Stop wearing high heels, or at least change the heel height. If you bike to work, drive or see if you can carpool with someone for a week or two. You get the idea.

2. Ice the body part. Nothing reduces inflammation like icing. It’s the most immediate and targeted way to reduce swelling and heat. You can make an icepack at home with a bag of frozen peas, or you can go the professional route and purchase one online. I recommend the latter if you can afford it, as there are some high-tech ice-substitutes now that actually work better than the real thing. Also, it’s a lot easier to treat, for example, an inflamed shoulder with a specially designed and contoured ice-wrap than it is sitting there holding a bag of frozen peas in place.

One of the very best places to go is the IceWraps website, which not only sells contoured ice-wraps for every part of the body, but has a huge selection of different companies’ products. Different people have different needs for the level and extent of icing, and these guys have absolutely everything. You can check them out in more detail here.

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3. NSAIDs. While not as specifically targeted as ice-wraps, NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen will have an overall systemic effect of reducing inflammation in your body. If you don’t normally take these, be careful to stay within the label guidelines, as many people don’t tolerate them well and experience stomach upset with excessive dosages.

And that’s pretty much it. If you’re not sure what sort of tendon pain you have, take the one-minute Tendon Test (up in the main menu) now and find out. If you’re sure that you really do have tendonitis, then the steps above, especially the first two, should be all you need to get back on track in a couple of weeks. If you are consistently following the steps above and don’t find relief within that time, then probably you have been misdiagnosed and either (a) have tendonosis or (b) some other, non-tendon condition and need a second opinion.