Aug 052015

tendonitisIf you have tendonitis, there are a number of remedies to try. You should consult your doctor before doing anything.

1. Rest

Sadly, your best remedy is rest.  Avoid using your arms any more than needed and be careful how you use them when you do. Behavior modification is crucial to recovery.  If you keep doing what you were before the injury, it will only get worse.

2. Physical Therapy

A physical therapist (PT) is one of your best options, but you need to find one who understands how to treat tendonitis, as not all of them do.  Try to avoid being assigned to a PT assistant, as they are unlikely to have the specialized skills you need.

3. Stretching

A PT can also give you appropriate stretching exercises to improve the lost range of motion that often comes with the injury.  You have to be careful to do them right or they’ll be counterproductive.

4. Heat

Heat via a heating pad can increase the blood flow and therefore oxygen to your damaged muscles, helping them heal.  Talk with a doctor or therapist to learn the proper placement for the heat.

5. Ultrasound

Just like what is done for pregnant women, an ultrasound treatment can spread warmth deep into affected muscles. This is typically administered by a physical therapist.

6. E-stim

A physical therapist can do electric stimulation to the affected muscles by placing the pads that emit current at two different point on your arms.  This feels weird at first but you get used to it.

7. Ice

Ice will lessen the inflammation of the tendons. Consult your doctor or physical therapist to learn where to place the ice and for how long.

8. Arm bands

If your tendonitis is in your arms, there are various arm bands you can wear. Some will restrict your wrist motion.  Other will compress your muscles to reduce pain and injury while using your arms.  I used very thick ones while sleeping to keep me from lying on my arms overnight, since that compressed my tendons and inflamed my arms.

9. Anti-inflammatories

Over the counter anti-inflammatories can help the tendon recover, but you have to be careful not to overdo this or you’ll risk damage to your organs.  A doctor can prescribe stronger ones for short duration, especially at the outset of your injury.

10. Topical Gel

There are topical gels that reduce the pain you feel but which might not help you recover.  Ask your PT or doctor to recommend one.  Some of these stink quite a bit, so be prepared for friends and family to ask you not to put it on right before sitting down with them!

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