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Health > Tendonitis


Tendonitis Fact Sheet

What to look for

  • painful tenderness and/or stiffness at a joint.
  • in some cases, numbness or tingling.
  • occasionally, mild swelling at the joint.

Tendonitis is an inflammation in or around tendons, bands of strong fibrous tissue that holds muscle to bone.
Tendons are strong and can usually take whatever we do to them but occasionally they can become swollen because of overexertion, disease, or injuries. The fibres can become damaged and torn and consequently the pain we feel can be enormous. The more we use a damaged tendon after it has been damaged, the worse the pain will become and the longer it will take to heal. Usually tendonitis will take about 2 weeks to resume normal functioning.


Tendons can become swollen if they are overworked for any reason. Sudden exercise when you are not used to it, lifting heavy weights, sports injuries and repetitive stress can all contribute to tendonitis.

Traditional Treatment

Your doctor will probably recommend you rest your sore tendon to allow it to heal. You can apply cold compresses immediately after the problem occurred. You may also need to take a pain killer.
There may be appropriate exercises to perform to strengthen the areas around the tendon and the tendon itself. Ask a trained physical therapist for advice.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Aromatherapy - Chamomile essential oil applied on the affected area may soothe and reduce the inflammation.
Herbal Therapies - For pain, you may be prescribed white willow (Salix alba) taken orally. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, is sometimes taken orally with the aim of reducing inflammation in soft tissues.
Homoeopathy - Among the over-the-counter homoeopathic remedies suitable for tendonitis symptoms are Arnica as an anti-inflammatory and Ruta as an antispasmodic.

Dietary Considerations

Research suggests that certain vitamin supplements may help heal tendonitis. Ask your doctor about taking daily supplements of vitamin C, beta carotene, zinc, vitamin E, silicon and selenium .

Personal Care

Rest, Rest, Rest… You need to keep your weight off the affected area to help it heal.


Always warm up before exercising or lifting heavy items.

When to seek further professional advice

  • your pain doesn't ease up in 7 to 10 days or is very severe and swelling.

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