How Does Physiotherapy Help Tendonitis Pain?

How does physiotherapy help tendonitis pain?

Tendonitis is a common condition that can cause pain and discomfort in the tendons. It is caused by inflammation of the tendons, which can be due to overuse or injury. Physiotherapy is a treatment option that can help alleviate the symptoms of tendonitis. Physiotherapy aims to relieve pain and stiffness while maintaining and improving muscle strength. This can help prevent further injury and enable you to return to your normal activities.

In this article, we will explore how physiotherapy helps tendonitis pain and how it can be an effective treatment option for those suffering from this condition.

What is chronic tendonitis?

Chronic tendonitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone, called tendons. It is characterized by pain and tenderness just outside a joint and can occur in any tendon, but it’s most common around shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels.

Chronic Tendonitis Symptoms:

Symptoms of chronic tendonitis may include:

  • Pain: This is the most common symptom, and it can be described as a dull ache or a sharp burning sensation. The pain may worsen with activity and improve with rest.
  • Stiffness: The affected area may feel stiff, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  • Tenderness: The area around the tendon may be tender to the touch.
  • Weakness: The affected muscle may feel weak and tired.
  • Loss of mobility: In severe cases, chronic tendonitis can lead to loss of mobility in the affected joint.

Chronic Tendonitis Causes

Chronic tendonitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Repetitive overuse: This is the most common cause of chronic tendonitis. It can occur from activities such as playing sports, typing, or doing yard work.
  • Poor posture: Poor posture can put stress on certain tendons, making them more susceptible to injury.
  • Improper training: Athletes who don’t train properly are at increased risk of developing chronic tendonitis.
  • Certain medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids, can weaken tendons and make them more susceptible to injury.
  • Age: Tendons become weaker with age, making them more susceptible to injury.

Physical therapy helps shoulder impingement

What is the treatment plan for tendonitis?

Treating tendonitis involves a multi-pronged approach, often starting with conservative measures before considering more invasive options. Here’s a breakdown of the typical treatment plan:

1.      Rest and Activity Modification:

The first step is to give your inflamed tendon a break from activities that aggravate the pain. This doesn’t mean complete immobilization, but rather finding alternative exercises or hobbies that don’t strain the affected area.

2.      RICE Therapy:

The RICE acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Applying ice packs for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and pain. Compression bandages or sleeves can also provide support and minimize swelling. Elevating the affected area above your heart level further aids in reducing inflammation.

3.      Pain Management:

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage pain and discomfort. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medication or corticosteroid injections for severe inflammation.

4.      Physical Therapy:

Once the initial inflammation subsides, physical therapy plays a crucial role in rehabilitation. Exercises focus on strengthening the muscles surrounding the affected tendon, improving flexibility, and correcting any underlying biomechanical imbalances.

5.      Other Modalities:

Depending on the severity and location of your tendonitis, your doctor may recommend additional therapies like ultrasound, heat therapy, or laser therapy to promote healing and pain relief.

6.      In severe cases:

If conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief, your doctor may consider surgical options to repair damaged tendons or remove inflamed tissue. This is typically a last resort due to the potential for complications.

How can I reduce the effects of tendonitis?

There are several ways you can actively reduce the effects of tendonitis and promote healing:

Rest and Modify Activities:

  • Give your tendon a break: Avoid activities that trigger the pain, even if you love them! Find alternative low-impact exercises or hobbies that don’t aggravate the area.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to pain signals and stop any activity that worsens it. Remember, pushing through pain can slow down healing.

RICE Therapy:

  • Rest: Allow your tendon time to recover by avoiding strenuous activities.
  • Ice: Apply ice packs wrapped in a towel for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. This helps reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Compression: Use a supportive bandage or brace to minimize swelling and provide stability.
  • Elevation: Raise the affected area above your heart level to reduce fluid buildup and promote healing.

Pain Management:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage pain and discomfort. Consult your doctor about the appropriate dosage and potential interactions.
  • Natural remedies: Consider turmeric, ginger, or arnica cream for their anti-inflammatory properties. However, talk to your doctor before trying any supplements or topical remedies to ensure they won’t interfere with other medications or conditions.

Physical Therapy:

Once the initial inflammation subsides, work with a physical therapist to develop a personalized exercise program. This will focus on:

  • Strengthening: Exercises to build muscle strength around the affected tendon, providing support and reducing further strain.
  • Stretching: Gentle stretches to improve flexibility and reduce tension on the tendon.
  • Biomechanical correction: Addressing any underlying imbalances that may contribute to the tendonitis.

Additional Tips:

  • Maintain good posture: Proper posture reduces stress on tendons and joints.
  • Warm-up and cool-down: Before and after any activity, perform gentle warm-up and cool-down exercises to prepare and relax your muscles.
  • Ergonomics: At work or home, ensure your tasks are ergonomically designed to minimize strain on tendons.
  • Weight management: Excess weight can put additional pressure on tendons, so maintaining a healthy weight can be beneficial.
  • Stay hydrated: Proper hydration keeps your tissues supple and promotes healing.

Remember, recovery takes time and consistency is key. Be patient, follow your doctor’s or physical therapist’s advice, and listen to your body. With the right approach, you can effectively manage your tendonitis and enjoy an active life again.

How physical therapy can help manage chronic tendonitis?

Chronic tendonitis can be a real pain in the… well, you know! The good news is that physical therapy can be a powerful tool to manage it and get you back to doing the things you love. Here’s how:

  1. Building strength: Think of your tendons as the ropes that connect your muscles to your bones. When they’re overworked or stressed, they get irritated and inflamed, leading to that nagging pain. Physical therapy helps strengthen the muscles around the affected tendon, making it more resilient and less prone to irritation. This might involve exercises with light weights, bands, or even just your body weight.
  2. Stretching it out: Tight muscles pull on your tendons, adding to the inflammation. Physical therapists can teach you gentle stretches that loosen up the muscles around the affected area, improving flexibility and reducing tension on the tendon.
  3. Breaking the pain cycle: Chronic pain can change how your brain perceives movement. Physical therapists can help retrain your brain and muscles to work together properly, breaking the cycle of pain and tension. This might involve exercises that emphasize specific movements or using special equipment to stimulate the muscles and nerves.
  4. Addressing the root cause: Physical therapists don’t just treat the pain, they try to find the underlying cause of your tendonitis. This could be poor posture, biomechanical imbalances, or even overuse of certain activities. By addressing these issues, they can help prevent future flare-ups and keep you active.
  5. Pain relief methods: In addition to exercises, physical therapists might also use modalities like ice, heat, or ultrasound to reduce inflammation and pain. These techniques can provide temporary relief while you work on strengthening and flexibility.

Remember, chronic tendonitis doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Physical therapy can give you the tools and knowledge to manage your pain, rebuild your strength, and get back to enjoying an active life. So, if you’re struggling with chronic tendonitis, don’t hesitate to reach out to a physical therapist!

What vitamins are good for tendonitis?

While vitamins alone can’t be a standalone cure for tendonitis, certain ones play a vital role in supporting tendon health and potentially aiding in the healing process:

Key Vitamins:

  • Vitamin C: This essential vitamin acts as an antioxidant, fighting inflammation and supporting collagen production, a vital protein for tendon structure and repair. Good food sources include citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin E: Another antioxidant, Vitamin E helps reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair. Sources include nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and fish.
  • Vitamin D: This vitamin strengthens muscles and bones, indirectly assisting tendons by improving overall musculoskeletal support. Sun exposure and some foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products can help with Vitamin D levels.

Other Useful Nutrients:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that can ease tendon pain and support healing.
  • Calcium and magnesium: These minerals contribute to bone and muscle health, which provides indirect support for tendons. Dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds are good sources.


Physiotherapy can help manage chronic tendinitis by strengthening the muscles and tendons. Eccentric strengthening, which emphasizes contraction of a muscle while it’s lengthening, is an effective treatment for many chronic tendon conditions.

Physical therapy exercises can also help to correct muscle imbalances and build strength, which can help to prevent future tendon issues. If you’re experiencing new, severe, or persistent symptoms, contact a healthcare provider. Remember, most tendinitis can be treated with rest, physical therapy, and medicine to reduce pain. Long-lasting tendon inflammation can cause a tendon to tear, which might need surgery.

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I am a highly skilled and experienced content writer with a Doctorate in Therapy degree. With a deep understanding of the human body and a passion for health and wellness. I combines my clinical expertise and writing skills to create valuable and engaging content.

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