Tendons take a long time to heal, so treatment is generally directed at speeding up the body’s natural healing process. The following at-home treatments are often recommended:
- Resting the tendon and avoiding repetitive movements. This may include taking a break every 15 minutes when doing repetitive activities, such as typing.
- Stretching the tendon to increase its range of movement and flexibility and to promote circulation.
- Massaging the affected area to promote circulation.
- Strengthening the muscles around the tendon with exercises to reduce daily strain on the injured tendon.
- Using braces or tape to protect the tendon from further injury.
Research has shown that vitamin C and curcumin supplements may help promote collagen production and speed up healing.
The following treatments may also be recommended:
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (EWST), which involves applying pressure waves to the surface of the skin. This may promote the regeneration of tissue and speed up the healing process. EWST has been shown to be effective for some lower limb conditions.
- Surgery can remove damaged tissue to relieve pain and allow the tendon to heal.
- Corticosteroid injections around the tendon can reduce short-term pain and swelling. However, they may also make relapse more likely and can sometimes impair collagen production.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, involve injecting plasma from the person's blood into areas around the tendon. The platelets promote cell repair and healing.
Anti-inflammatories and ice can help relieve the pain which is caused by inflammation.
The long-term outlook is good. 80% of tendinosis sufferers make a full recovery in 3-6 months. If left untreated, tendinosis can lead to ruptured tendons so early treatment is important.
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