Maybe you’ve been a bit overzealous in attacking your resolution to get in shape — don’t let your enthusiasm land you on the sidelines with an injury! Often known as the “Weekend Warrior” syndrome, it’s easy to let an overuse injury sneak up on you. More commonly referred to as tendinitis, the symptoms can appear suddenly or develop over time. The team here at Wrist Assured Gloves is here to help you understand what’s happening and what you can do to achieve a pain-free fitness routine.
Causes of Tendinitis
- Repetitive movements (doing too many burpees or sun salutations)
- Movements with high force on the muscle or tendon (using kettle bells or lifting heavy weights)
- Excessive stretching (overstretching – easy to do in hot yoga class)
- Fast, rapid, or jerky movements
- Awkward or prolonged static postures and positions
- Reduced muscle strength and increased stress on tendons
- Not enough rest after injury and resuming exercise before muscles and tendons are fully healed
Symptoms of Tendinitis
Tendinitis often begins as a nagging pain in the tendon and surrounding muscles and can grow worse if left unaddressed. Over time, the pain and stiffness can increase and radiate up or down the limb.
What to Look For:
- Sharp or dull, aching pain
- Constant pain
- Pain aggravated by movement or applied resistance
- Pain aggravated by specific positions or actions (such as difficulty turning a key)
- Inflammation and swelling at the tendon, joint, or surrounding area
- Redness or warmth at the site of pain
If your tendinitis pain is mild, then self-management is possible. If you experience moderate to severe pain, or the pain doesn’t go away, then we recommend seeking the advice of medical professionals. Remember the acronym RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Complete rest of the sore tendon will allow the healing process to begin. Generally three or more weeks is needed to heal tendinitis. Continuing the repetitive or forceful movements that caused your pain will only aggravate and worsen your symptoms.
If it’s not possible to completely rest — if the repetitive motions contributing to your tendinitis are related to work, for example — try to alter any activity that causes pain or puts stress on the tendon. Notice what movements cause or increase pain and avoid doing this movement or try to find an alternative. Using optimal body positioning and correct body mechanics will also reduce stress on muscles and tendons.
Reduce Pain and Swelling
Elevate the affected limb and wrap in cold packs for 10 to 20 minutes two to four times a day. Try to keep the affected area elevated at or above the level of your heart to help minimize swelling.
A bag of frozen peas works well to ice small areas like the thumb or wrist. An ice massage directly on the painful area can also be very effective. Use an ice cube wrapped in wash cloth, or freeze water in a small cup and peel away the paper at the top. Rub ice directly over and around the area for two to four minutes until numb and repeat two to four times a day. Do not leave the ice in one place on the skin.
Elastic wraps (ace bandages), stretchable joint supports, compression gloves, wrist braces for tendinitis, and soft splints can reduce pain and swelling by providing even pressure around the affected tendons and muscles. They also serve as a visual reminder to take it easy on this area.
If you use compression wraps, be careful that any elastic bandages you use are not wrapped too tight. This can cause more swelling above and below the affected area. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area above or below the bandage.
Our Wrist Assured Gloves (WAGs) with the elastic strap provide wrist support for tendinitis, arthritis, and other hand pain as well. The Ultra and Fusion models have the wrist strap for some added joint compression.
Therapy for Tendinitis
If your tendinitis is severe or chronic, then you may need the treatment of a skilled physical or occupational therapist to control your symptoms and evaluate your body mechanics and proper ergonomics. The course of therapy to improve tendinitis may include:
- Splinting for complete immobilization and rest
- Semi-rigid, soft supports or kineseotaping
- Posture analysis and instruction in proper body mechanics
- Ergonomic training, work station modification, or use of adaptive aids
- Application of modalities such as ultra-sound or electrical stimulation
- Soft tissue mobilization or Graston Technique (GT)
- Progressive strengthening and endurance conditioning once symptoms have subsided
- Topical creams for pain relief and swelling
- Anti-inflammatory medication and/or steroid injections (as prescribed)
Don’t let tendinitis wreak havoc on your workout and fitness goals. Take precautions like warming up and stretching before exercising. Pace yourself when starting a new workout and let your strength and endurance build up slowly. Listen to your body’s warning signals and don’t ignore pain.
You should also try to mix up your fitness routines so you’re not using the same muscle groups repeatedly in the same motions. This not only makes you prone to tendinitis, but it can also quickly lead to boredom. After all, variety IS the spice of life!
For the support you need to enjoy your favorite exercises, turn to Wrist Assured Gloves. We offer several options to match your needs, from our Ultra supportive designed to address wrist pain to the slimmed down Flex made for virtually all fitness routines. Explore our site to learn more about the ergonomics of our wrist support gloves and to find the style that works best for you. Place your order today to get started!