Having a tendonitis is a painful experience. It is the kind of pain that you don’t feel all the time (unless it has gotten really bad…), but the single movement reminds you that your tendons are burning like hell fire. It takes time to get better, and the longer it takes, the most likely it is to come back at some point.

Here are a few tips I have found helping when struggling with tendonitises. They might not all work for everybody, but they did the trick for me.

Low hanging fruits

Do not trigger the pain, under any circumstances. It is not like a cramp where forcing a bit of pain helps making it better. It makes things worse. When you feel pain, stop what you are doing.

When you are in pain and not using your tendons (see first advice), try putting some ice on the inflamed area. It’s not much, but it can reduce the pain a little. Also put some specialized oitment or green argile on the painful area and rub it (or ask someone to do it if it is to painful to do it) for a few minutes a few times a day.

Drink a lot of water, it helps hydrating the tendons (as I’ve heard) and can help in the long run. Also good for the body in general, so you know: win-win.

Be super careful not to force on your other healthy hand or you will end up with both arms blocked. When you feel like your okay arm is even starting to get tired, stop what you are doing and do something else. Seriously, make sure not to let tendonitis install on the other arm.

Health care

Take anti-inflammatory pills only if you really need it (and if your doctor prescribes some) and stop when you feel like it’s going better. Still, try to reduce the usage of your tendons to a bare minimum even under anti-inflammatory treatment (especially when under treatment, actually): they do not heal, they just make the pain disappear. If you keep forcing on your tendons in the meantime, you are making things worse.

Consider taking specialized food supplements. Cicatendon is a French brand focusing on helping getting rid of tendonitises. You can probably order it or find an equivalent in your country. You won’t notice a different within 2 days of course, but I suppose it can help in the long run.

When dealing with wrist tendonitises, it might be a good idea to wear a splint. It is annoying and quite ugly I concede, but it helps maintaining the arm and preventing it from moving too much which would trigger pain (see first advice).

If the pain is located in the arm and you notice your mouse or trackpad is causing partially responsible for this, it might be worth looking for specialized equipment allowing your arm to sit in a more comfortable (understand less painful) position. Most companies are well willing to help you with this kind of request, so be sure to talk about this with your employer.

When you finally feel better, still be careful. It can (and is likely to) come back quite quickly. Do not force as soon as you feel healed, or you will have to start over.

I hope it helps. Keep it up, and feel better! Further tips on this Twitter discussion.