Tendons are the tough connective tissue that attaches the muscle to the bone. When these bands of tissue become inflamed, it is called tendonitis. It is typically an overuse injury. The tendon is strained repeatedly until it develops tiny tears. Symptoms may include swelling and hand pain or pain in the affected area. The affected area may also feel warm to the touch. Most commonly affected areas include the knee, shoulder, shin, wrist, and heel. In most cases, the condition will resolve without any medical intervention. However, its symptoms do mimic other, more serious conditions such as infection and arthritis. If symptoms do not improve or get worse, it should be examined by a physician to ensure that there isn’t a more serious issue present.
Home treatment for tendonitis
Mild cases of tendonitis can often be managed at home. Steps for self-care include:
- Over the counter pain relief – Taking an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (for its anti-inflammatory properties) will often help manage the pain.
- R.I.C.E. – This is a standard treatment for tendonitis that helps manage pain and swelling as well as facilitate healing.
- R – Rest. Stop the activity that caused the pain and don’t try to “work through it.” That could slow healing and exacerbate the pain.
- I – Ice. Use an ice pack on the affected area several times a day to reduce swelling and help manage pain.
- C – Compression. An Ace bandage or compression stocking can help with pain and swelling.
- E – Elevation. Keep the area elevated/
As symptoms subside, these measures can be decreased, and normal usage can be gradually resumed.
Medical treatment for tendonitis.
Seeking medical treatment for tendonitis may involve a more aggressive approach:
- Physical therapy
- Stretching exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Splint, padding, sling, or boot to keep the area immobilized
- Ultrasound treatment
- Corticosteroid injections
- Recommendation for weight loss (if necessary)
If the tendon needs to be repaired, surgery may be required.
What is the healing time for tendonitis?
The average time for tendonitis to heal is anywhere from three to six months. The length of time depends on the severity of the injury and whether surgery was required. In those cases, healing can take a year or even more. Due to the nature of the condition and its location, it usually takes time to heal.
The location of the tendonitis also determines how long it takes to heal. If it occurs in the non-dominant hand or arm, it may not take as long because of it won’t be used as much. Tendonitis in the lower extremities tend to take longer because they are weight bearing and use often for mobility.
At Florida Hand Center, we handle arm and hand treatment for many different conditions, including tendonitis. Call today to schedule an appointment (941) 625-3782 or contact us via our convenient website contact form and one of our friendly representatives will contact you. Don’t suffer needlessly with pain or lack of mobility in your arm or hand, let us help you take back your life.