Signs and Symptoms
1. Ache and tenderness around a joint, often worse with movement and in bed at night.
2. Muscle spasms.
What to do now
1. Rest the area until pain and swelling ease.
2. Use a splint if the cause is overuse, and if you can’t rest the affected joint.
3. Take anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve the pain and swelling.
4. If your tendinitis comes on suddenly after an injury or heavy use, immediately put an ice pack on the area for 10 to 30 minutes at a time to relieve the swelling. Wait 30 to 45 minutes, and repeat. Repeat as often as possible. After two days, apply a towel soaked in hot water and wrung out to relieve the pain.
When to call a doctor
1. If the area around the joint appears discolored or deformed.
2. If pain and swelling continue for more than two weeks despite rest and pain relievers; these could be early signs of arthritis.
How to prevent it
1. If you have symptoms, rest the joint to prevent the problem from getting worse.
2. If you perform repetitive tasks during work-for instance, a lot of typing-ask your doctor to recommend an ergonomic specialist, who can suggest ways to change your work station to ease the stress on tender tendons.
3. Stretch before and after work. When you have to do the same movements over and over again, take a five to ten minute break every hour or so.
4. Exercise regularly to maintain muscle and tendon strength, which will help prevent injuries.
5. Always warm up before exercise or sports.
6. Wear comfortable shoes with flexible soles and good heel when you exercise.
7. Switch to low-impact exercise, such as swimming or low-impact aerobics.