A tendon is a thick, tough band of connective tissue. Tendons connect our softer tissues to our bones, which allows us to move by transferring force from our muscles.
Unfortunately, tendons are commonly prone to injury. These tendon injuries can come from both extreme force and regular, everyday repetitive movements. Tennis elbow is a common example of a tendon injury.
Getting a tendon injury can also be a bit debilitating. So, how do you treat an injured tendon so you can get back on your feet? Read this guide to find out.
At-Home Treatments for Tendon Injuries
Tendons are full of nerves and blood vessels. They are alive, which means that tendon injury will result in painful inflammation.
Most treatments for tendon injuries focus on reducing inflammation and managing tendon pain. Other potential symptoms that you might have to manage include:
- Stiffness of the joints or muscles
- A sensation of heat at the point of injury
You can manage some tendon injuries at home using the RICE method. RICE stands for:
- R – Rest
- I – Ice
- C – Compression
- E – Elevation
Resting is key to healing. This provides adequate time for your tendons to repair themselves. Ice will aid in reducing inflammation. Compression and elevation help to reduce swelling and keep bodily fluid from overloading the injury.
The RICE method can help prevent further injury. It can also help with pain management, though you may also use over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen.
Taking an extended rest from things like sports and heavy exercise is essential for letting the tendon heal. This will also keep you from injuring yourself further.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet and water intake during the healing process.
Clinical Solutions for a Painful Tendon
More severe tendon injuries will require clinical care from a licensed medical professional. There are a few options that can help you manage tendon injuries.
PRP therapy is commonly used by professional athletes to treat tendon injuries. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. PRP is an injection that may increase your blood’s healing power.
These injections first became popular during oral surgeries. They may help reduce pain and discomfort during the healing process. In many cases, PRP can help to reduce the necessary recovery time for tendon injuries.
If nothing else has helped, or the injury appears to be a chronically occurring one, you may be a candidate for ortho-surgery. Major tendon tears, such as ACL tears, will be unable to heal on their own and will require surgical intervention.
In these cases, a surgeon will perform repairs on the injured tissue and close the incision. You will need several weeks to several months of rest and physical therapy to heal from these operations.
Don’t Let Painful Tendon Injuries Hold You Back
Tendon injuries don’t have to get in the way of a happy and healthy life. Now that you know more about how to deal with them, you can be back on your feet in no time.
Check out our Health section to learn more about common treatments for a variety of injuries.