If you have tendonitis/tendinitis symptoms, the best treatment is RICE protocol.
If you have tendonitis/tendinitis symptoms, the best treatment is RICE protocol.

If you have tendonitis/tendinitis symptoms, the best treatment is RICE protocol. It means that you should immediately follow rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest: To provide rest to that tendon and limit the movements of that limb to expedite the healing process. Avoid heavy or any activity that causes pain.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the area of inflammation for 10-15 minutes once or twice a day.
  • Compression: Apply/wrap a compression bandage on the affected tendon for support and to avoid movements of your tendon.
  • Elevate: Elevate your injured tendon to reduce the swelling.

For proper diagnosis and the extent of the injury, you must see an orthopedic doctor. They may prescribe

  • A short course of painkillers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce your inflammation (swelling, pain, and redness) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
  • The topical application of anti-inflammatory drug [Voltaren (diclofenac)] may reduce the pain and inflammation in your joints.
  • A course of steroid injections into the tendons if tendinitis is long-standing and does not get better.
  • Medicines to control gout disease if your doctor is suspecting gout (crystals of uric acid around your joint).

Your orthopedic doctor may suggest you

  • To use a cane in your opposite hand to help a painful hip.
  • Splints or braces for your affected body part to help to rest or reduce body stress.
  • An orthotic device that is placed inside the shoe and can change the support and angle of the foot, accordingly.
  • Ultrasound or whirlpool treatment for tendon relaxation, blood circulation improvement, and better healing process.
  • Physical therapy that includes some easy stretching exercises to tone up the muscles of joints and increase strength that you must follow for several times a day.
  • An open surgery or FAST (focused aspiration of scar tissue) in case of chronic or long-term tendinitis or rupture or tear of the tendon.

How can I prevent tendinitis?

To prevent future tendinitis events, you should

  • Vary your exercises and gently stretch all the muscles before the starting actual exercises.
  • Include warm-up (5 minutes) and cool-down exercises during your planned 30 minutes exercise routine.
  • Try to prevent repetitive use of the same joint and provide rest to the same joint after certain repetitive movements.
  • Wear appropriate footwear or other equipment.
  • Slowly increase your exercise load to avoid significant risk.
  • Avoid overuse of any part of the body such as repetitive movements.
  • Keep all the muscles flexible, movable, and strong.

How to live with tendinitis?

Your shoulder may become stiff because of chronic tendinitis or bursitis if you don’t move it. Therefore, it is very necessary to do some motion exercises such as stretching every day to preserve the movements of those affected joints. Stretching exercises can be painful due to tendinitis or bursitis. Therefore, early medical help should be taken to avoid joint stiffness and chronic issues. It is necessary to give rest to your affected limb or joint until you can move it without any pain. If you cannot provide enough rest to that affected joint, the healing process may delay. Therefore, to fasten the healing process, you must

  • Provide rest to your painful joint or tendon.
  • Avoid heavy activity or any activity that causes pain in that joint or tendon.
  • Apply ice on that area 10-15 minutes twice daily.
  • Avoid overusing any part of the body such as repetitive actions.
  • If pain worsens or swelling and redness reappears or if it does not fully recover in three to six weeks, you must see your doctor for help.
  • Before starting any strenuous exercise or activity, you must do warm up exercises.

What are the possible complications of tendinitis?

Possible risks include:

  • Risk of further injury to the same tendon or joint 
  • Tendon rupture
  • Return of tendinitis symptoms

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Medically Reviewed on 10/6/2020
References
WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/understanding-tendinitis-treatment

American College of Rheumatology: "Tendinitis and Bursitis." https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Tendinitis-Bursitis

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "What Are Bursitis and Tendinitis?" https://www.chcrr.org/health-topic/tendinitis/

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