What to do for fasciitis or tendonitis (i.e., inflammation)
The majority of this website is aimed at getting people to realize that, in a lot of cases, what’s referred to as “fasciitis” or “tendonitis” is in reality fasciosis or tendonosis. But of course there are times when people really do have fasciitis or tendonitis…i.e., a problem with inflammation. If this sounds like it might be you, have a look at what follows for some advice about what you can do to get rid of it:
1. Resting. A primary cause of inflammation is too much repetitive motion, and in particular motion that is less than ideal in terms of biomechanics. So if it’s possible, just take a break from doing whatever is causing you pain.
If you can’t stop because the motion is part of your job, then try to see if you can somehow change the pattern a bit. Work out by swimming instead of spinning. Stop wearing high heels, or at least change the heel height. If you bike to work, drive or see if you can carpool with someone for a week or two. You get the idea.
2. Icing the body part. Nothing reduces inflammation like icing. It’s the most immediate and targeted way to reduce swelling and heat. You can make an icepack at home with a bag of frozen peas, or you can go the professional route and purchase one online. I recommend the latter if you can afford it, as there are some high-tech ice-substitutes now that actually work better than the real thing. Also, it’s a lot easier to treat, for example, an inflamed ankle tendon with a specially designed and contoured ice-wrap than it is sitting there holding a bag of frozen peas in place.
One of the very best places to go is the IceWraps website, which not only sells contoured ice-wraps for every part of the body, but has a huge selection of different companies’ products. Different people have different needs for the level and extent of icing, and these guys have absolutely everything. You can check them out in more detail here.
3. NSAIDs. While not as specifically targeted as ice-wraps, NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen will have an overall systemic effect of reducing inflammation in your body. If you don’t normally take these, be careful to stay within the label guidelines, as many people don’t tolerate them well and experience stomach upset with excessive dosages. Also, despite what doctors may tell you, it takes a good month or so for NSAIDs to build up in your system to a point where they actually start to work on inflammation. So you may get some benefit from the pain-relief they provide (this happens more or less immediately), but don’t think that they’re going to get rid of the inflammation itself anytime soon. (Again, a good ice-wrap is your best bet for this.)
And that’s pretty much it. If you’re not sure what sort of tendon pain you have, take the one-minute Tendon Test now and find out. If you’re sure that you really do have tendonitis, then the steps above, especially the first two, should be all you need to get back on track in a couple of weeks. If you are consistently following the steps above and don’t find relief within that time, then probably you have been misdiagnosed and either (a) have fasciosis/tendonosis or (b) some other, non-fascia/tendon condition and need a second opinion.