How To Treat Tendonitis
Tendinitis sucks! Especially for those of us that love to workout and get stronger. And it doesn’t matter where the pain is (wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, etc.), it is going to slow you down and hold you back from what you want to do. So, this article will teach you the best and fastest ways to treat, prevent and cure tendonitis using a Voodoo Muscle Floss Band and Medical RICE Treatment; to decrease inflammation and pain, quickly.
Table Of Contents:
- What Is Tendonitis?
- Best Treatments
- Tendonitis Prevention
What is Tendonitis?
First, tendonitis, also known as tendinitis, is inflammation of a tendon. It is commonly caused by muscle overuse or repeated improper movement. And if not corrected and treated properly, it can lead to a tendon strain, or tear. Which will keep you out of action for months, or even years. So take this minor inflammation seriously.
What makes tendonitis such a hard injury to treat is your tendons themselves. Tendons are a connection between muscle and bone. And they hold similar properties to both. For example, they are slightly stretchable like a muscle but dense like bone. And they take a lot longer to heal than muscle because they are not vascular (do not have veins).
Muscles are quick to heal because they are vascular and have a lot of blood flow. But tendons are not so the healing process takes a lot longer. Plus, they are in constant motion just like your muscles but take longer to strengthen. Which means they need to avoid being broken down more than they are built up. As that is how this all occurred in the first place.
With that being said, let’s get into how to treat tendonitis and prevent it from occurring again.
Best Treatments for Tendonitis
Whether you have acute (short term) or chronic (long term) tendonitis, the treatment is the same. It will just take longer to fix the longer you put it off.
You need to increase blood flow, while decreasing inflammation.
To treat tendonitis or any inflammation, you need to both increase blood flow and decrease inflammation. The greater the blood flow, the faster the healing. However, the greater the blood flow, the more chance of building up inflammation. And, though it is your body’s healing mechanism, inflammation causes pain.
So, the goal is to allow enough inflammation for healing to occur, while decreasing pain as much as possible. With all this in mind, doctors came up with the RICE Method Treatment.
RICE Method – Tendonitis and Inflammation Treatment
The best protocol for treating any inflammation is known as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
Rest the tendon and affected muscle group as much as you can. This means you need to take some time off from all activity. And decreasing the intensity or taking it light will not work, because the problem is not the intensity of the movement. It is the movement itself.
For acute tendonitis, you can likely take 10-14 days off from all activity and be back to 100%, if you follow the entire RICE Treatment daily during your time off.
For chronic tendinitis inflammation, it depends on how long you have put off treatment. But you will likely need to avoid as much activity as you can for at least 1+ months.
Ice the inflamed area for 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off, as often as you can. This means all day, every day.
It is best to use actual crushed ice in a thin plastic bag applied directly to the area. Do not put a towel or even paper towel between when using real ice because you need the cold to get deep into the tissue.
However, if using an ice pack, you MUST put a thin towel or a few paper towels between your skin and the pack. This is because your skin freezes as 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and ice packs can get colder than that. But ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit so your skin will never freeze from normal crushed ice.
For even faster results, apply heat to the affected area during your 40-minute bouts off cold. However, always finish your sessions with cold.
This is because cold decreases blood flow and decreases inflammation. While heat increases blood flow but also increases inflammation. We want your body to have better blood flow to help repair your tissue, but it is more important to decrease the built-up inflammation.
So always finish with cold, before taking a break from the regiment.
The 5 Stages Of Cold
While icing, you should feel the affected area go through the 5 Stages Of Cold. That is how you determine if your icing is effective or not. These 5 stages are:
Stage 1 – Cold
Stage 2 – Burning
Stage 3 – Tingling
Stage 4 – Aching
Stage 5 – Numb
It normally takes about 5 minutes to go through the first 4 stages. But if you can get through it, then you will be numb and can go for as long as is needed.
Plus, the more you do it the more your body will get used to the sensations and eventually it will learn to go straight from cold to numb.
Compression & Elevation
Compression and elevation both help to decrease inflammation by decreasing blood flow and draining the area of inflamed fluid. Compressing the affected area prevents it from filling up with inflamed fluid. And the higher you elevate the area above your heart the easier it is to drain out any bad fluid.
Realize that sitting in a recliner with your feet up does not count as elevation. The affected area needs to be at least 12 inches above your heart. And the higher the better for drainage.
Unless there is major swelling, you do not need to focus a lot on these with tendonitis, but they can help while icing.
Voodoo Muscle Floss Band
The Voodoo Muscle Floss Band, originally created by The Ready State (formerly known as MobilityWOD), was designed to treat and cure Tendonitis in athletes. And it works REALLY WELL! Most people are 75-100% cured after just one 2-5 minute treatment!
WARNING: Though the Voodoo Muscle Floss Band works very well, it is EXTREMELY PAINFUL! If I was to describe it, most people think it feels as if their skin is being peeled off for 2-5 minutes. And almost everyone cries (even grown men that think they are tough).
But if you can get past the pain, you will almost instantly be cured!
So the way that I think of it is this…you can either feel a little bit of pain over a long period of time. Or feel a lot of pain over a short period to be healed. Your choice.
Other Inflammation Treatments
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help with some pain relief. However, by decreasing inflammation, they slow down the healing process. So only use them if absolutely needed, and do not think that they are healing the injury.
Foam Rolling and Deep Tissue Massages can help to relax your tight muscles pulling on the inflamed tendon, and therefore help to relieve pain. This is preferred over stretching the surrounding muscle groups because stretching increases the stress placed on the tendon.
So, do not stretch the tendon until all pain has gone away for at least 7 days. And focus the massage on your muscles, not the inflamed tendon.
Acupuncture can help by increasing blood flow to the affected area and therefore helps your body heal itself, only faster.
IcyHot Patches and creams, or other related topicals, do help you feel good through different skin sensations. However, on the deep tissue level, where the actual problem is, they have no effect.
If you are an athlete and need something to help you “play through it”, then give them a shot. But it is not recommended as the more activity you do the longer the healing process will take.
Now that you know how to treat your tendonitis symptoms, let’s go over how to prevent and cure it from happening again.
Here is how to prevent tendonitis from ever holding you back:
- Learn how to move properly
- Increase Your Mobility
- Build Strength and Endurance
Again, one of the most common ways to develop tendonitis is through improper movements. If you move in a way that your body was not designed to move, then you are placing extra stress on your muscles, joints, and tendons. Your tendons are the weakest of the 3 and are therefore the most common to show warning signs and/or tear.
How to move properly for you depends on the activities you do and the sports you play. But if you can do most bodyweight exercises perfectly, you are off to a great start.
We know, stretching is boring and painful. But it is one of the best ways to help prevent injury in any activity that you do. Movement just simply isn’t enough. You need to force your muscles, joints, and tendons to work properly. And the more you neglect them, the harder it will become.
Again, DO NOT STRETCH YOUR INFLAMED TENDONS! If you do, you risk tearing them! Wait until the pain has gone away for at least 7 days. Then start back with light stretching and slowly increase over time.
In the meantime, massage the surrounding area instead.
Fact: The stronger you are, the less likely you are to injury your muscles and tendons. It is the weakest muscle/tendon in a chain of movements that gets overworked and fatigues the fastest, leading to an overuse injury in the form of tendonitis. So work your weaknesses and don’t neglect any area.
Remember, the tendon that is inflamed with tendonitis usually attaches to the weak muscle that needs to be built up.
Most Common Examples:
- Patellar Knee Tendonitis = Weak Quads
- Bicep Tendonitis = Weak Biceps
- Tricep Tendonitis = Weak Triceps
Of course, the opposing muscle does play a huge role in this as well. For example, with patellar knee tendonitis, those with weak quads usually have really strong hips and hamstrings that put more stress on the knee-tendon.
And improper movement is another factor, but if the muscle is strong, it is still less likely to develop tendonitis.
Tendinitis Treatment in Conclusion
Overall, tendonitis inflammation can instantly hold you back from your sport, training or other activities. But if you use the RICE treatment to decrease inflammation while increasing blood flow, you will be back to action in no time! Then make sure you always follow our tendonitis prevention tips so that you can be cured for life!