Easy Ways to Manage Tendinitis Pain

What is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, the thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. This condition causes pain and tenderness outside a joint and can occur in any tendon. It’s most commonly seen in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. Often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the area or from a sudden more serious injury, tendinitis is particularly prevalent among individuals who participate in certain sports or repetitive activities.

Rest the Affected Area

Continued stress on the injured tendon will only exacerbate inflammation and delay healing. It’s important to avoid activities that cause pain or stress on the tendon from a few days to several weeks, allowing the inflammation to subside. During this time, if the affected area is a limb, immobilising it with a brace or splint may be beneficial to prevent unnecessary movement.

Apply Ice to Reduce Swelling

Ice therapy helps decrease blood flow to the affected area, which can reduce inflammation and numb the surrounding tissue, providing pain relief. Apply ice wrapped in a cloth or an ice pack to the injured area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, especially after any activity that might aggravate the condition. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin to prevent frostbite.

Use Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), can be effective in managing tendinitis pain and reducing inflammation. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) offer temporary relief from pain and can help decrease the swelling associated with tendinitis.

Adhere to dosage guidelines and consult a healthcare provider for extended use to avoid side effects like gastrointestinal problems or kidney damage.

Engage in Physical Therapy

Physical therapy includes exercises to strengthen the muscles around the affected tendon, thereby reducing the load on the tendon itself. It plays a crucial role in treating tendinitis by focusing on muscle support and flexibility.

  • Target Muscle Strengthening: Exercises aimed at fortifying surrounding muscles reduce stress on the tendon.
  • Improve Flexibility: Focus on exercises that boost flexibility and range of motion, helping prevent further injuries.
  • Apply Healing Modalities: Techniques such as ultrasound and massage, along with specific stretches, are employed to alleviate inflammation and promote recovery.

Stretching and Exercise

Gentle stretching of the affected tendon and surrounding muscles can improve flexibility and reduce tension, which helps alleviate pain. Strengthening exercises targeted at the muscles around the affected area can support the tendon, distribute forces more evenly, and reduce the likelihood of reinjury. Start with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity to avoid exacerbating the condition.


Effective management of tendinitis pain hinges on timely, measured actions. Building a foundation for healthy tendons through preventive care and proper technique in physical activities also plays a crucial role. Recovery and maintaining tendon health underscores the importance of a balanced approach, blending restorative practices with preventive measures.