Tendonitis is a disorder that causes inflammation in the tendons, tissue that connects muscles and bones. It can occur in the elbows, wrists, heels, or shoulders. People with tendonitis often feel pain in their joints and tendons, especially when they move. The disorder may be caused by an injury or repetitious movements. People who play sports, perform repeated motions with their wrists, have bone spurs and/or are obese are at risk for developing tendonitis. Treatment for severe tendonitis often reduces swelling and pain.
1. Put ice on the areas where your tendons have swelled for 15 to 20 minutes every four to six hours for the first three to five days. Then apply heat to reduce pain.
2. Reduce pressure on your tendons by staying off your feet until the pain or inflammation goes away. If you are unable to stay off your feet completely, wear a splint on your wrist or hand, a brace on your ankle, or a band on your elbow to immobilize the area and keep pressure off the inflamed tendons.
3. To relieve pain in your tendons and/or joints, take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin.
4. Ask your doctor for an injection of corticosteroids to reduce pain and/or swelling in your tendons. If you think you may have developed an infection as a result of your tendonitis, visit your doctor to get antibiotics.
5. Visit a physical therapist for ultrasound treatment, which uses sound waves to increase blood flow and reduce pain and swelling in your tendons.
6. Do stretching, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercises at least four to six times a week to strengthen your muscles, tendons, and joints. Exercises that can help you to strengthen your tendons include the hook fist, the median nerve glide, wrist curls, rotator-cuff exercises, the soleus stretch, and heel-raise exercises.
7. Consider surgery to have inflammatory tissue surrounding your tendons taken out or have your tendons repaired if you develop ruptured or torn tendons.