3 ways to fix your tendinitis

If you work at a desk job or you do any kind of physical job (sounds like just about everyone), then chances are you have suffered or will suffer from tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon) at some point. How exactly can you fix these types of injuries at home?

Stop doing the things that hurt you

One reason why you have tendinitis or it keeps coming back is pretty simple. You keep doing something that hurts you. I know it sounds stupid and it’s probably the last thing you would want to do but bad news, that’s most likely what’s happening.

Let’s take for example tennis elbow (epicondylitis) which is an inflammation/degeneration of the tendon of the extensor carpi radialis brevis. What’s that you say?

 

tenniselbow

Extensor carpi radialis brevis (highlighted in purple) / Heavily used when performing a “backhand”

 

It’s one of the muscles that extends (brings the back of the hand toward your elbow) and abducts (brings the thumb part of your wrist toward your forearm) the wrist. Well, let’s say you’re afflicted by that type of injury and you go through the normal process of doing physiotherapy. After a while, you go back to your normal everyday routine and not long after, the injury (tennis elbow) comes back to haunt you.

What happened? The mechanism that causes this overuse type of injury is still present in your daily life. In the case of tennis elbow, it might be caused by: poor gripping of a tool, weakness of certain more efficient muscle groups (the injured muscle is working too much for its own capacity), etc.

So, how do you fix that part? The simplest way is obviously to find the proper health professional (ergotherapist, physiotherapist, kinesiologist). If this is not an option for you, try noticing when exactly the pain is the worst or worsens. Next, either you stop doing it altogether or you start taking small breaks. It might take longer to finish the task, but it’s definitely better than having to stop completely.

Reduce inflammation

Since tendinitis is in definition an inflammation of the tendon, you need to reduce it. First, start with the most effective way.

Ice it.

Make it a part of your daily routine and try to do it in intervals. That means you’re going to ice it for a few minutes (3-5 min.) then let it rest for an equal amount of time. Repeat these intervals (ice on, ice off) 2-3 times in total. If it’s possible, try to do it 2-3 times a day.

You want to reduce inflammation even more? Try to add extra fish oil to your diet. Omega 3 rich fish oils are a great way to reduce inflammation through your whole body. Besides, it has so many other amazing effects on the body, might as well take them anyway!

Activate yourself!

Just like we mentioned in the first part, your tendinitis was most likely caused by a muscular weakness of a more efficient muscle group (more efficient for whichever task caused the injury). Again, it’s always better to consult with a health professional to pin point the problem (in this case, the muscle group that needs to be strengthened).

Start by working that weaker muscle group. It will lessen the load that’s put on the injured (overused) muscle. This will also make your nervous system know which muscles to activate first whenever that painful movement is done.

We hope this might help a few of you get rid of tendinitis and become more active in the process!

Raphael Hart
raphael@bouge.fitness

M.Sc. Kinesiology and Ph.D student in biological sciences at Université du Québec à Montréal.

1Comment
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