Tendonitis is a condition that causes the inflammation of the tendons. The use of the word tendon refers to a thick cord of tissue that connects the muscle to the bone.
The purpose of the tendons is to allow for the movement and flexibility of the bones as well as the joints following the contraction of the muscles. When the tendons are inflamed, they result in impaired mobility as they interfere with the normal movement of the bones and joints.
Injuries affecting the tendon will often occur during sports activities, or when one is engaged in an invigorating activity.More importantly, tendonitis may also result from repetitive tasks that place some strain on the tendons.
Such activities include common house chores, gardening as well as incorrect postures at the workplace. The most common places affected by this condition include the knee, the hip region, shoulder blade as well as the elbow.
The thumb is also affected, particularly with the increased use of computers and other electronic gadgets. Tendonitis is accompanied by symptoms such as pain at the affected area, tenderness, swelling as well as impaired mobility as aforementioned. When the latter occurs in the shoulder, it is known as a frozen shoulder. If you suspect that you suffer from tendonitis, it is vital that you seek medical advice to find the best way forward.
The best thing perhaps, is that there are natural remedies that you can use to ease the discomfort from the convenience of your home. Listed below are some great options for you, and it helps if you mentioned your choice home remedy to your doctor at the time of the appointment.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Preferred essential oil (You may use olive oil) and a warm bath.
Massaging the affected part of the body using warm essential oil is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. The action of massage not only provides pain relief, it also allows for the proper circulation of blood to the tissue. Olive oil is a preferred option because it has anti-inflammatory properties that work by reducing the pain and inflammation. Other oils that you may use include sesame oil and mustard oil. It is advisable to warm the oil to allow for maximum absorption and quick relief.
- Place the oil in a shallow bowl and proceed to heat using a water bath. Never heat the oil directly in order to retains its structural integrity.
- Once warm enough, massage the inflamed part of the body for 20-30 minutes.
- Use this remedy twice daily until the pain eases.
2. Hot and Cold Vinegar Packs:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: 2 Cups of both white vinegar and water in a pan (for the hot pack) and the same amount for the cold pack, a clean towel and an ideal skin moisturizer.
Vinegar packs are an ideal remedy for the home treatment of tendonitis. This is because the packs offer relief from the pain, albeit in different ways. Vinegar is used because it has a high concentration of anti-inflammatory compounds which speed up the recovery process. The heat within the hot pack on the other hand, improves the flow of blood and goes a long way in relaxing the sore swollen muscles. The cold pack works by numbing the affected muscle so that the pain decreases. It is impossible to use both packs simultaneously, which simply means that the best way to go about this is to use the packs alternately as indicated below.
- Mix the warm water and vinegar in a pan before heating for 2 minutes.
- Soak the clean towel in the vinegar mixture and squeeze out the excess mixture.
- If possible, wrap the hot vinegar pack on the affected muscle. If this is not possible, simply place the pack on top of the muscle for 10 minutes or until it cools down.
- Soak another towel in a mixture containing the cold water and the vinegar and repeat step 3 above.
- Repeat both procedures thrice, making sure you allow a few minutes in between the different packs.
- Rinse the skin and finish off by applying an appropriate skin moisturizer to prevent dehydration.
3. Ice Pack:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 6 Ice cubes and a plain soft cloth.
Applying an ice pack on the affected muscle is a sure way to reduce the pain, thanks to the soothing sensation that results from the low temperatures. The ice also reduces swelling by preventing the accumulation of fluid around the injured tendon. The remedy is best used immediately after the injury to counter the swelling that develops quickly if left unchecked. The golden rule when it comes to using ice cubes is to always wrap them so that they do not come into direct contact with the skin.
- Place the ice cubes on the soft cloth and wrap them in such a way that they create a pack.
- Put this pack on the part of the body affected by tendonitis. Hold in place for 20 minutes at a go or until the ice starts to melt.
- Repeat this as often as needed.
4. Hot Water Bottle:
Time Required: 20 – 30 Min
What You Need: Hot water bottle filled with hot water and a clean towel
This remedy seems to counter the positive effects of the ice pack remedy mentioned above, but it is important to note that the recommended timings for both remedies are different. While the ice pack is advised for immediate use after the tendon injury, the hot water bottle is recommended after the first 24 hours. When used this way, the heat provided improves blood circulation which in turn speeds up the healing process. This provides much needed relief from the injury. A clean towel is included to provide an additional layer in between the skin and the bottle to prevent the risk of scalding the skin.
- Place the towel on the affected part of the body first and then proceed to place the hot water bottle on top of it.
- Depending on the severity of the tendon injury, you may use the hot water bottle for anywhere between 20 minutes and overnight.
5. Use a Bandage to Secure the Inflamed Tendon:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: A compression bandage with clip-ons to keep it secure.
The purpose of bandaging the inflamed tendon is to prevent movements which cause further inflammation and pain. This action also allows ample time for recovery and healing of the tendon in order to allow normal functioning. The best type of bandage to use is a compression bandage as it has the ability to immobilize the tendon with minimal side effects.
- Simply wrap the compression bandage around the inflamed tendon. Note that the use of this remedy largely depends on the nature and location of the injury. While at it, ensure that you do not wrap the bandage too tightly or too loosely; just the right amount of pressure to allow the tendon full recovery.
6. Cayenne Pepper:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Teaspoons of cayenne pepper powder, 1/2 cup of warm olive oil and warm water to rinse.
Cayenne pepper is packed with excellent anti-inflammatory properties that make it an effective way to reduce pain and inflammation in conditions such as tendonitis. Thanks to its fiery hot effect, the heat produced on topical application soothes the inflamed tendon and eases the discomfort. Olive oil is added to provide a medium for the application of cayenne pepper as well as for its healing properties. Note, however that this remedy is not recommended for use on broken skin.
- Add the cayenne powder to the olive oil and mix well.
- Carefully apply this mixture on the inflamed tendon, massaging gently as you do this.
- Leave the mixture on the skin for some 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Use this remedy daily until the condition heals and the pain subsides.
7. Epsom Salt Bath
Time Required: 15 – 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of Epsom salt, warm water in a tub and a skin moisturizer. Alternatively, use 5 teaspoons of Epsom salt in a wash basin and a clean towel.
Epsom salt has long been recommended for the treatment of different conditions, among them tendonitis. The use of warm water is combined with the healing properties of the salt, allowing quick recovery from the pain and inflammation at the site of the injured tendon. The ease of absorption of the salts through the skin’s pores makes this an excellent remedy altogether.
Note that Epsom salts cause dehydration of the skin; for this reason, you need to finish off the application of this remedy with the use of a skin moisturizer. There are two ways in which you can use the salts depending on the nature of the injury: a full body bath soak, or localized application of the remedy.
Full Body Soak
- Put 1 cup of Epsom salts in the tub and run warm water, making sure that you mix well for even dissolution.
- Soak in the tub for half an hour, allowing the absorption of the salts’ healing powers.
- Finish off by applying an ideal skin moisturizer.
Localized Application of the Remedy
- Stir in 5 teaspoons of the Epsom salts in the cup containing warm water.
- Soak the clean towel in the resulting solution for 2 minutes and then wring to get rid of the excess solution.
- Use the warm towel as a compress on the inflamed tendon.
- Gently rub the compress on the affected part of the body for 20 minutes.
- Rinse and proceed to apply your preferred skin moisturizer.
8. Sage Leaves:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh sage leaves, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and a clean towel.
Sage leaves are believed to have healing properties that work excellently for the home treatment of tendonitis. When boiled and the solution used for topical application, the result is a soothing sensation that provides relief from the condition. The remedy is easy to use for the different parts of the body affected by tendonitis as it makes use of a warm compress. Follow the directions below if you need to manage tendonitis using sage leaves.
- Sort the fresh sage leaves and then rub them between your hands in order to release the active ingredients responsible for the healing effects.
- Place the leaves in a pan and pour in the apple cider vinegar before bringing the mixture to boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Soak the clean towel in the resulting solution and squeeze out the excess solution before placing the compress on the inflamed tendon for 15 minutes.
- Use this remedy daily.
9. Make Lifestyle Changes to Help you Reduce the Occurrence of Tendonitis:
The aforementioned remedies help provide relief from the symptoms of tendonitis. In addition to these, there are also changes that you can make to prevent tendon inflammation in the first place. These include:
- Invest in proper sports gear and equipment to avert severe tendon injuries. It is also proper to adopt the correct form and posture during these exercises.
- Make physical activity a regular part of your life as this strengthens the muscles and tendons to prevent injuries. Cardio exercises are recommended as they aid in proper blood circulation.
- Proper diet also plays a key role as it helps reduce muscle tension and improves the body’s ability to repair damaged muscles. It also helps to avoid foods which aggravate inflammation, including but not limited to salty foods, processed foods, refined grain, alcoholic drinks and caffeine among others.
- Take ample time to rest as this allows your body to heal faster.
- If you still do not feel better, get in touch with your doctor in order to offer a specific course of treatment.