Health

Tendinitis Got You Down? Here’s How To Heal It Naturally

Tendinitis occurs when tendons, the fibrous collagen cords connecting muscles and bones, become inflamed. This condition can result from overuse, injuries, infections, posture or gait problems, arthritis, and other conditions. The typical symptoms include tenderness, pain, and inflammation. While some inflammation is part of the natural healing process, various remedies can aid recovery.

Rest

Rest is crucial for tendinitis recovery as it allows the damaged tendon to heal and reduces inflammation. It is important to rest the affected joint and avoid repetitive or strenuous motions that could cause further irritation. For instance, if someone has shoulder tendinitis, they should rest the respective arm. Despite taking pain medication, one must not resume the activity that caused the tendinitis until fully healed, as this could lead to a partial or complete tendon tear. Recovery from tendinitis typically takes a few weeks. Once the pain subsides, it is essential to gradually resume daily activities and exercise.

Ice

Applying ice or cool packs to the inflamed tendon can help reduce circulation, thereby decreasing inflammation and numbing the area to reduce pain. However, some debate exists about the effectiveness of ice for injuries. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing response, and suppressing it too much may slow recovery. It is essential never to apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, use bags of frozen vegetables or cool packs wrapped in a towel. Follow medical advice or general guidelines, such as using ice for 10–15 minutes twice daily, combined with rest.

Compression

Light compression can help reduce swelling and stabilize the joint as it heals. Options include compression stockings, braces, slings, or wrapping a bandage around the joint. Proper compression can increase blood flow without cutting off circulation. It should be snug but comfortable and should not be painful. Always remove compressive garments before sleeping to avoid complications.

Physical Therapy

After a period of rest, gentle movement and stretches can improve tendinitis symptoms and promote healing. Stretching can increase tendon elasticity and range of motion. The type of exercise beneficial for tendinitis depends on the injury location and cause. A physical therapist can provide personalized recommendations and help avoid movements that cause pain. Physical therapy aims to restore function and prevent future injuries.

Herbal Supplements

Certain plant-derived extracts have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in tendinitis treatment:

  • Turmeric: Contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin can reduce inflammation and help tendons regenerate.
  • Ginger: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can reduce muscle pain after activity, although specific studies on tendinitis are limited.
  • Bromelain: An enzyme in pineapple stems with anti-inflammatory properties, though its effects on tendinitis require more research.

Other promising substances include green tea, avocado oil, and quercetin, but more high-quality trials are needed. Always consult a doctor before trying new supplements, especially if you are pregnant, have other health conditions, or take other medications, as herbal supplements can interact with drugs.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, a complementary therapy from traditional Chinese medicine, may help with several musculoskeletal conditions, including tendinitis. Electroacupuncture, which uses needles with a mild electric current, has shown promise in relieving pain for Achilles tendinitis. However, larger studies are needed to confirm these findings. Consulting a doctor can help weigh the potential benefits and risks of acupuncture as a treatment option.

Natural remedies for tendinitis include rest, ice, compression, and physical therapy. Complementary therapies like herbal supplements and acupuncture may also be beneficial. Tendinitis usually heals within several weeks if caused by injury or overuse. The main goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and allow the tendon to heal. If symptoms do not improve with rest and home care, consulting a doctor is essential to rule out other underlying causes and receive appropriate treatment.

Have you ever suffered from tendonitis? What worked? What didn’t? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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