7 Natural Remedies to Relieve Tendonitis

You can resort to certain natural remedies to relieve some of the symptoms of tendonitis. Are you afflicted by this condition? Continue reading for some recommendations on how to soothe it.
7 Natural Remedies to Relieve Tendonitis
Karla Henríquez

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Karla Henríquez.

Last update: 04 August, 2022

This article is about ways to relieve tendonitis, the inflammation of the fibrous structure (tendon) that connects your muscles to your bones. It’s a chronic issue that can cause a long-term breakdown of tissues and serious pain and difficulty moving.

It usually manifests as sensitivity in nearby joints, stiffness, and pain that worsens at night. It generally shows up when your muscles are overloaded, but can also happen due to aging or certain illnesses.

The most common treatments are painkillers and anti-inflammatories but there are some natural alternatives that can help you relieve the symptoms. Does it sound like something you’d like to try? Check out the following natural remedies you can complement medical treatment with.

7 natural remedies to relieve tendonitis

According to a publication released by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are several therapeutic options for the treatment of tendonitis.

At first, as with other musculoskeletal injuries, it’s recommended to rest, go to cryotherapy, and do some exercises with a physiotherapist.

If necessary, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen can also be used. In addition, if the condition persists, the doctor can suggest other therapeutic options.

Furthermore, you can find a series of complementary natural remedies that can contribute to the relief of pain, alongside the treatment.

Although there’s no scientific support for their use against tendonitis to date, anecdotal data suggest they may be effective. You’d like to try them? Here are 7 of them.

1. Ice

Applying ice packs may help relieve inflammation and pain caused by tendonitis, as suggested by a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Translation.

This therapy stimulates circulation in the affected area and, in turn, may help decrease prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2), which is an important mediator of acute inflammation in body tissue.

A person holding some ice cubes.
Applying ice to the areas affected by tendonitis may cause temporary relief of symptoms.

What should you do?

  • Wrap several ice cubes in a towel or baggie, then apply to the affected area.
  • Gently massage for 10 to 15 minutes and repeat up to three times a day.

Note: Avoid applying ice directly to the skin, as it could be too harsh. Always use a thermal bag, T-shirt, or towel.

2. A warm bath can help relieve tendonitis

Warm baths are soothing and relaxing, as this publication in the Arthritis Foundation suggests. According to the Foundation, warm water can decrease inflammation by improving circulation.

What should you do?

  • Draw a bath with enough warm water to cover your body. Soak for 20 minutes.
  • If you like, add essential oils or Epsom salts for an even more soothing effect.

3. White willow tea

The anti-inflammatory and sedative properties of a white willow infusion can help control the symptoms of tendonitis. This plant may contribute to the relief of pain and stiffness, as its effects are compared with those of some conventional sedatives, according to a study in Phytotherapy Research.

Some white willow springs.
White willow tea might have sedative properties. However, it isn’t recommended for those with kidney problems, ulcers, or aspirin allergy.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. of white willow (10 g.)
  • 1 c. of water (250 ml.)

What should I do?

  • Add the white willow to the boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes.
  • Strain and drink at the first sign of pain.
  • Repeat up to three times a day to keep the problem at bay.

4. Turmeric to relieve tendonitis

Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory and calming effects that can effectively manage tendonitis.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics recognizes its analgesic properties. While you can get this effect by having the spice with food, it also works as a topical compress.

What should you do?

  • Add a tablespoon or two of powdered turmeric to two and a half cups of hot water and once it reaches a manageable temperature, apply to the affected zone with a cloth.
  • Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes and then, remove it.
  • Use up to two times a day.

5. Arnica can help relieve tendonitis

The arnica plant is one of the most popular natural remedies to relieve tendonitis. According to some studies, this potent anti-inflammatory and painkiller can decrease swelling and pain when applied topically.

An arnica flower can help relieve tendonitis.
Topical arnica remedies have shown positive effects against pain and inflammation. However, this is a topic that continues to be researched.

What should you do?

  • Firstly, apply compresses with arnica tea or alternatively use a lotion or ointment of arnica.
  • Finally, use until the inflammation is under control.

6. Apple cider vinegar

There’s no evidence that apple vinegar applied topically decreases pain and swelling. However, people often speak of it as a remedy to relieve tendonitis. Here’s how if you want to try it.

What should you do?

  • Firstly, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water and apply to the affected area with a compress.
  • Then, let sit for 20 minutes and remove.
  • Finally, repeat up to three times a day.

7. Aloe vera

Although there are no studies showing that aloe vera gel helps against tendonitis, there’s evidence of its anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, many believe it to be useful as a complementary remedy to relieve areas affected by this condition.

What should you do?

  • Firstly, take a generous amount of aloe vera gel and smooth it over the affected joint, massaging gently.
  • Then, let sit for 30 minutes and rinse with cold water.
  • Finally, apply two to three times a day.

Your doctor can help you relieve tendonitis

The above remedies seem to help temporarily ease the symptoms of tendonitis. However, they’re not the first-choice treatment for this problem. Therefore, it’s important to consult your doctor to learn more about other treatment options.

In general, avoid activities that increase the pain so as not to worsen the condition. Also, rest will help the tissues heal.

Keep in mind that this shouldn’t keep you from doing activities and even exercises that don’t put pressure on the affected tendon. After rest, do large movements with the affected limb to maintain flexibility.

Low-impact sports, such as cycling or “swimming and water exercises are usually well tolerated,” according to a publication dedicated to this topic.

Seek professional guidance for a physical therapy plan to restore normal movement and gait patterns.

Try procedures such as dry needling, which consists of introducing an acupuncture needle to stimulate healing processes in the tendon, if there’s no improvement. This needle contains no substances and goes directly into the (injury points) specifically on the motor plate of the affected muscle.

You can also try ultrasound, which includes the insertion of a special device -for example, a specific gel- in the tendon, sensitive to ultrasonic waves, or even surgery.

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The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.