Resting the affected body part is one of the primary treatments for tendinitis. But recovery from tendinitis can take months. When the injury affects a body part you rely on every day, like your feet or ankles, rest isn’t always possible.
Our skilled podiatrist, Dr. Richard Hochman, is always looking for better ways to treat long-term pain conditions that affect the feet and ankles, including alternative therapies.
Here, we want to share some of our lesser-known tricks that can help you recover from tendinitis.
RICE right away
Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon, the fibrous tissue that attaches muscle to bone, causing swelling and pain. The injury can occur from a sudden movement that overstretches the tendon, but tendinitis is most often the result of repetitive use.
Tendinitis can affect any tendon, but the injury usually affects the elbow, knee, shoulder, or ankle.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, and it’s the first thing you should do when you have an injury like tendinitis.
- Rest — minimize use of the affected body part
- Ice — apply an ice pack for 15 minutes several times a day for the first 48 hours
- Compression — wrap the injured area with a bandage
- Elevation — keep the injured body part above the level of your heart when swollen
Implementing RICE right away reduces the swelling and pain and helps heal the injury.
Bracing or splinting
Rest is hard when you rely on the affected body part to brush your hair or get to the bathroom. Using a brace or splint unloads some of the stress on the tendon, supporting the healing process.
For Achilles tendinitis, we may recommend orthotics to improve the mechanics of the foot, reducing weight on the ankle. Orthotics may also work for knee tendinitis.
Shockwave therapy, also called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is a game-changer for people with chronic tendinitis. The nonsurgical treatment uses sound waves to trigger the healing process.
The mechanical force that the sound waves create increases cellular permeability and activity and stimulates production of the cells that make connective tissue. Shockwave therapy also reduces pain by overwhelming the sensory nerves, disrupting the pain signals.
Platelets are one of the elements in your body that regenerate and heal damaged tissue. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a medical treatment that contains a high concentration of platelets.
When injected into the injured tendon, the extra platelets may activate or accelerate the healing process, helping you recover from your injury.
Stem cell technology is an emerging area of medicine that shows a lot of promise in the treatment of chronic conditions. When other interventions fail to help you recover from your tendinitis, you may want to consider this alternative method.
Is tendinitis keeping you from doing the things you love? Are you searching for a treatment that can help you recover faster? Call us at Dr. Hochman’s office in Coral Gables, Florida, today or request an appointment online to get the help you need.