Most of us know someone who has, or have experienced for ourselves, the pain of tendinitis. Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon following over-exertion, resulting in swelling, inflammation, impaired motion and pain. Tendons are the thick cords that join your muscles to your bones. The most common tendons affected are the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle, as well as those in the knees, elbows, and rotator cuff of your shoulders. We must heal any inflammation, or repetitive motion in the afflicted area will continue to cause pain. Recovery time can take a few days, a few weeks or a few months.
What Activities Can Cause Tendinitis?
According to The Cleveland Clinic, there are many activities that can cause tendinitis, including:
- Rock Climbing
- Throwing and pitching
Individual disparity in frequency and severity of tendinitis will vary. For instance, rock climbers are inclined to develop tendinitis in their fingers or elbows, swimmers in their shoulders or knees, tennis players in their wrists and elbows, baseball pitchers in their elbows and shoulders. Achilles tendinitis is a very common injury, predominantly in sports that involve lunging and jumping, while Patellar tendinitis is a common issue for basketball and volleyball players, due to the amount of time spent jumping and landing on very hard court surfaces. Tendinitis is actually very frequently referred to as swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee, pitcher’s shoulder, or tennis elbow.
Symptoms often swing from aches and pains and local joint stiffness, to a burning that surrounds the entire joint around an inflamed tendon. In some cases, swelling can appear with heat and redness, and there may even be visible knots surrounding the joint. When this ensues, pain is typically more severe during and after activity, and the tendon and joint area will become very stiff the following day as muscles tighten from the movement of the tendon.
We may not be able to make your tendinitis go away quickly, but when you can understand what it is, you might be able to reduce your symptoms.
What Can Contribute to Tendinitis?
- Incorrect posture at work or home
- Poor stretching or conditioning before exercise or while playing sports
- Overuse of a joint or multiple joints
- An abnormal or poorly placed bone or joint (such as length differences in your legs or arthritis in a joint) that stresses soft-tissue structures
- Stresses from other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid disorders or unusual medication reactions
- Occasionally, an infection can cause tendinitis
Who Gets Tendinitis?
- Anyone can get tendinitis, but it is more common in adults, especially those over 40 years of age. As tendons age, they have more issues tolerating stress are less elastic and tear more easily.
- With the emphasis being placed on youth sports today, daily sports practice for high level athletes and overuse of joints at a young age, more and more children and teens are being diagnosed with tendinitis than ever before.
Where Does Tendinitis Occur?
Tendinitis can occur in almost any area of the body where a tendon connects a bone to a muscle. The most common places are:
- The base of the thumb
- Achilles tendon (connects the calf muscles to the heel bone)
What Are the Symptoms of Tendinitis?
- Pain at the location of the tendon and surrounding area. Pain may be a gradual build-up or abrupt and severe, especially if calcium deposits are present.
- Loss of motion in the shoulder, also known as frozen shoulder.
How Can I Avoid Tendinitis?
- Warm up before exercising.
- Take a new sport or activity slowly at first. Gradually build up your activity level.
- Use limited force and limited repetitions.
- Cross-train, if you are an athlete
- Use proper posture when working at a desk or at other tasks
- Do not remain in the same position for too long, and move around periodically
- Use proper equipment at work and during athletic activities
- Stop if unusual pain occurs. Do something else that uses different joints and muscles. Try again later and if pain recurs, stop that activity for the day. keep physically fit and build your muscle tone
How is Tendinitis Treated?
Initial, standard medical treatment includes:
- Avoiding activities that aggravate the problem
- Resting the injured area
- Icing the area the day of and injury
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines
- If the condition does not improve in a week, make an appointment to see your doctor.
What is a Doctor Likely to Recommend if the Condition Persists?
- Corticosteroid injections. Corticosteroids – steroids – are often used because they work quickly to decrease the inflammation and pain. They mask the pain but don’t cure the problem.
- Physical therapy. This can be very beneficial, especially for a frozen shoulder. Physical therapy includes range of motion exercises.
- Supports: depending on the location of your tendinitis, you may benefit from the use of a cane, splints or braces
- This is rarely needed and only for severe problems that do not respond to other treatments.
How Long Will Recovery and Return to Pain-Free Activity Take?
It may take weeks to months to recover from tendinitis, depending on the severity of your injury.
What are the Warning Signs that it Might Be More than Tendinitis?
You should see your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Fever (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Swelling, redness, and warmth
- General illness or multiple sites of pain
- Inability to move the affected area
X-rays & MRIs: Are They Necessary?
According to Orthopedics.com, X-Rays and MRIs are not usually needed to make the diagnosis of tendinitis. X-rays may be performed to ensure there is no other problem, such as a fracture, that could be causing the pain and swelling. MRIs are usually only performed if there is a suspicion of another problem that could be causing the symptoms.
Once the diagnosis of tendinitis is confirmed, the next step is to proceed with appropriate treatment.
As we have illustrated, common practice is to use over the counter or prescription drugs and creams to provide temporary relief from tendinitis. I would also like to suggest that you consider a natural, nutritional approach to help the cause and heal your tendinitis pain. That is the approach I prefer to take, if I know there are natural solutions that might work to alleviate the condition and the soreness. Anytime I can protect my liver from the effects of medications, that is the direction I prefer to take.
- What other Shaklee natural nutritional supplements will help alleviate my tendinitis?
- Rub Shaklee Joint and Muscle Pain Cream on the affected area. Joint & Muscle Pain Cream provides temporary relief in minutes. Deeply penetrating to target arthritis pain, backaches, sore muscle, sports injuries and more. This non-greasy, menthol formula enables fast absorption and provides prolonged release action to affected areas.
- Stop and rest the affected area. Ice the affected area for 10 minutes every hour for the first few hours once you discover the pain
- Vita Lea Multivitamin/Multimineral. Vita Lea supports optimal health by promoting heart health, immune health, bone and joint health, physical energy, and healthy skin, hair and nails.
- Pain Relief Complex. Pain Relief Complex features a patented blend of clinically tested boswellia along with safflower extract, which provides help for overworked joints. This is ideal for those whose work puts stress on joints and who don’t work out regularly. Key ingredients help to relieve discomfort from over exertion and promote flexibility and comfortable movement.
- Alfalfa Complex. The ‘father of all foods’, Alfalfa provides a wide variety of nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, chlorophyll, and bioflavonoids. It’s truly a storehouse of nutrients.
- Advanced Joint Health Complex. Advanced Joint Health Complex contains a patent-pending, fast-acting form of boswellia extract shown to improve joint comfort in as few as 5 days. It also contains concentrated forms of glucosamine that promote mobility, enhance flexibility and can improve joint function.
- Vita C. Vitamin C has been shown to support immune health and help maintain natural antioxidant defenses and cell integrity.
- Vita D3. This product is essential for calcium absorption, supporting healthy heart function as well as immune and BONE health.
As with any unexplained or undiagnosed ailment, we encourage you to see your doctor before beginning any kind of health regimen. It’s much better to be safe than sorry, and to be certain you are treating the real source of the pain and discomfort!