Acupuncture & Self-Help Tips for Tendonitis
Tendonitis is a painful inflammatory condition of tendons, and is most commonly seen in the wrists, elbows (tennis elbow or golfer's elbow), shoulders, hips, knees and the achilles tendon. It usually develops as a result of repetitive movements of the joint involved, and becomes more common as we age and our tissues become less flexible.
Once tendonitis sets in, it can take a long time to heal, especially if you cannot avoid the repetitive movement that is contributing to the problem. Depending on the severity of the inflammation and your activity level, tendonitis can persist for months, so it's important that you start treating it as soon as possible after symptoms begin. Here are a few ways of dealing with this issue:
Get acupuncture: Not only will acupuncture help decrease the pain, but will also enhance your body's own healing ability. Needling the affected area will bring in more blood flow and oxygen and help the tissue recover. Additionally acupuncture excels at reducing inflammation.
Get physical therapy: Knowing specific stretches and strengthening exercises for the affected area will aid your recovery.
Cut out inflammatory food: The foods we eat can have a significant effect on the level of inflammation in our body. Certain foods - including sugar, bell peppers, tomatoes, hot peppers, eggplants and potatoes - can contribute to higher levels of inflammation and should be avoided by those suffering from tendonitis. Other foods such as turmeric, green tea, ginger and garlic can lower inflammation and ease tendonitis pain. For more details on how diet contributes to inflammation, check out a few of my previous blog post:
Ice and rest: using ice on the affected area for up to 20 minutes a day can help reduce swelling and pain. Rest is essential when it comes to recovering quickly. This is often difficult for people whose tendonitis is a result of sporting activities that they don’t want to be away from. Not resting, however, can lead to the inflammation and pain lingering for months and months.
Add self-massage: Here are some great resources on YouTube that demonstrate self-massage techniques for golfer's elbow, tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis. I hope you find them useful.
Golfer's elbow self-massage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgn78oDAxfM
Tennis elbow self-massage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_x1WlefJCs
Plantar Fasciitis self-massage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie5PJEKEXlQ
Key to getting a handle on tendonitis is getting treatment sooner rather than later. Don’t wait, thinking that this will resolve on its own, but rather support your body as soon as possible and avoid lengthy recover time and weeks and weeks of therapy.