Tendonitis is one of the most common injuries that people experience. It involves inflammation of your tendons, the tissue that connect muscle to bone. This can occur from overuse, repetitive motions, or direct trauma – and may prevent you from using the affected body part altogether.
Doctors often recommend the RICE method as the first, most conservative treatment for tendonitis. Here’s what RICE stands for and how it can help you:
What Is the RICE Method?
The RICE method is a noninvasive treatment that can help heal many injuries. It stands for:
Here’s how the treatment can help:
Once you have tendonitis, it’s vital to give the affected area a break. Doing so will give your injury time to heal.You may need to take a few days off work or from your usual activities. Also, don’t push through the pain when doing things that could aggravate your injury, such as exercising.You may make your tendonitis worse if you force yourself to keep going.
Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and swelling. Do it for 10-20 minutes several times a day.The cold temperature will numb the area and help reduce inflammation but don’t put ice directly on your skin. Use a thin cloth or towel as a barrier.
Wrapping the affected area with an elastic bandage can also help reduce swelling. Avoid doing it too tightly – you don’t want to cut off circulation. Adequate blood flow to an injury is critical to healing properly. Try using medical tape or an athletic compression sleeve, which you can find at most drugstores.Be sure to wrap your injury snugly but not too tightly. You can test the bandage by putting your thumb inside it and seeing if you can still move it freely.
If you have swelling, elevating the affected body part can help reduce the swelling. That’s because gravity pulls fluid down, so, for example, your leg is less likely to swell when you raise it. Try to keep the affected area above the level of your heart. For example, prop your foot up on a pillow when sitting or lying down if you have tendonitis in your ankle.You can also use pillows to elevate your arm if you have tendonitis in your shoulder.
When Should You Use the RICE Method?
The RICE method is most effective when you used soon after your injury, say within the first 24-48 hours. That’s because that’s when swelling is usually at its worst.Don’t hesitate to continue using the RICE method if you’re still experiencing pain and swelling after a few days – and ask your orthopedic doctor how long you should keep it up.
When Should You See Your Orthopedic Doctor?
Sometimes, occasional tendonitis can go away with just RICE and other self-care measures. If the pain doesn’t improve after a week or two, or if it gets worse, see your orthopedic doctor. They can diagnose your injury and recommend other treatments, such as physical therapy. A corticosteroid injection or prescription medication may also be recommended. If the injury is severe, your orthopedic provider may recommend surgery, although that’s usually only necessary if you have a torn tendon.
Tendonitis Treatment Near You in San Antonio, TX
The RICE method is a simple, effective noninvasive treatment for many common injuries. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It can help with many cases of tendonitis, especially when begun within the first day or two of being injured. See your orthopedic doctor if the pain worsens or doesn’t improve after a couple of weeks. They can ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate medical treatment.
Do you need tendonitis treatment near you in San Antonio, Texas? You can rely on the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our healthcare providers are highly trained, experienced, and passionate about helping you improve your quality of life after an injury.
Call our friendly staff at (210) 692-7400 to learn about our comprehensive healthcare services. You may also use our secure online form to request an appointment with the best orthopedic doctor near you.
We look forward to serving you!