Despite what we thought when we were younger, human bodies have limits and cannot be overworked. When our connective tissue, like tendons or muscles, gets overexerted, we become prone to many severe, painful conditions. One of them is tendonitis.
Braces should generally be worn for tendonitis anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. This duration will also depend on medical advice. However, they must not be worn for 24 hours straight. It’s highly recommended to take them off at night when asleep.
If you’re feeling pain in the area where the muscle connects with the bone, this may signify tendonitis. Keep reading to learn more about the condition, how it is treated, and how wearing a brace helps with its improvement.
What Is Tendonitis?
Tendons are connective tissue that act as bridges between muscles and bones. They do not just aid in attachment or structure but also movement. Therefore, they are crucial for movement.
Tendonitis is the condition where the tendons are inflamed or irritated. It may also be called tendinitis. It can occur due to overexertion from repetitive movements or a sudden, severe injury. It can be painful, especially when the affected is moved.
Tendonitis can occur to any tendon in any part of our body; however, some areas, like the thumb, elbow, shoulder, and Achilles tendon, are more prone than others. The condition may even be classified based on the part affected.
Examples of familiar and specific tendonitis terms are swimmer’s shoulder, pitcher’s shoulder, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, De Quervain’s shoulder, Jumper’s knee, and Achilles tendonitis.
You shouldn’t confuse tendonitis with tendinosis, a more severe condition affecting the tendons. The latter refers to when tendons are torn or degenerated. However, tendonitis can progress to tendinosis if left to persist.
What Are the Symptoms of Tendonitis?
You shouldn’t ignore symptoms of tendonitis, as, with time, it can get aggravated and require surgery. Therefore, it can be crucial to know what to look out for.
The most usual symptom of tendonitis is pain in the affected tendon. It may be sudden and severe or chronic and dull. Besides pain, other signs include swelling, redness, warmth, and tenderness. The movement of the body part may also be limited.
The pain associated with tendonitis is often felt in the area that connects the bone and the muscle. This may help you differentiate it from other types of discomfort, such as muscle strain, where the ache is felt within the muscles themselves.
When you consult a doctor, they may also conduct other tests such as an X-ray to determine if other factors, like arthritis or other pre-existing conditions, may be causing the pain alongside tendonitis. However, a physical exam will often be sufficient.
What Causes Tendonitis?
Many factors may lead to tendonitis. Being aware of them may lead to better treatment and prevention. For instance, if the nature of your work may have contributed to the conditions, you can employ techniques to reduce stress on your tendons.
Tendonitis is often caused by overexertion of the tendons through repetitive movements or a sudden injury. Moreover, calcium deposits, conditions like gout or arthritis, certain medications, and infections from animal bites can all be probable causes.
Who Is Prone to Tendonitis?
Certain situations make some people more prone to tendonitis than others; therefore, they would need to employ specific strategies or techniques to prevent it from happening.
Athletes are especially prone to tendonitis, which is why warmups are essential. Workers who are required to do repetitive movements need to maintain proper posture, technique, and break time to avoid exertion. Older people also have weaker tendons and tend to be prone to tendonitis.
Individuals with conditions like gout or arthritis are also likely to have tendonitis.
What To Do if You Have Tendonitis?
Healing an inflamed tendon can take days or weeks. However, most of the treatment can be done by you and doesn’t necessarily require any medications or prescriptions. However, a trip to the doctor may be necessary if the pain lasts more than a few days or worsens.
If you have tendonitis, the most important thing to do is RICE – rest, ice, compress, and elevate the affected part. You should avoid moving the body part too much using bandages or braces. Over-the-counter inflammatory medicines may also be taken.
Rest is crucial for healing inflamed tendons. Jumping right back to activity may lead to further overexertion and allow the pain to persist. Persistent tendonitis may be dangerous, leading to more severe conditions like tendon rupture or tendinosis.
Physical therapy through simple exercises like stretching may be done after a few days. It is essential to move now and then (though not too much) to avoid stiffening. Make sure to warm up beforehand and consult with your doctor or physical therapist regarding any possible treatment.
You can also consider changing your work habits and space. For instance, if your job involves a lot of typing, try scheduling a few breaks in between. You can also upgrade to more ergonomic equipment, like specially-designed chairs, for better posture. Athletes should take warmups more seriously to avoid overstraining.
Should You Wear a Brace for Tendonitis?
Braces come in various shapes and functions- wrist, knee, and ankle are just a few variations. They can be differentiated from a splint in that the splint completely immobilizes the body part, whereas the brace only limits movement and maintains a neutral position.
You should wear a brace for tendonitis because the device helps restrict movement. Therefore, overexertion of the tendon or the affected area will be avoided. They also help when it comes to joint protection and reducing swelling and pain.
While helpful, braces need to be selected and used correctly to be effective. Therefore, it may be best to consult a medical professional should you opt to wear one.
Examples of Braces Worn for Tendonitis
As previously mentioned, there’s a wide range of braces one can use. Here are some of the most popular:
- Patellar tendon strap. This is a knee brace used for patellar tendinopathy or patellar tendinitis. The strap reduces tensile strength when placed on the mid-area of the tendon, thereby reducing pain and improving alignment.
- Wrist brace. This brace is used not just for wrist tendonitis but also for minor wrist sprains, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis.
- Thumb brace. A type of thumb brace is the thumb spica splint. It is a crisscross of materials around the thumb, rendering it immobile. It is usually used for De Quervain tenosynovitis.
How Long Should You Wear Braces for Tendonitis?
For an inflamed tendon to heal, it must be given time to rest. During that period, the movement of the affected body part must be limited but not strained. Braces help in doing that.
You should wear braces for tendonitis as long as it takes for the injury to heal, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It’s advisable to consult a doctor about the specific timeline.
If you experience anything off, like worsening pain or adverse reactions, you should immediately inform your doctor about it. This may be due to incorrect brace usage or due to buying the wrong type. They may be able to advise you on additional ways to use the device or recommend a better-suited variety.
How Long Should You Wear a Thumb Brace for Tendonitis?
Thumb braces and spica splints are often used to deal with thumb pain. Besides wrist tendonitis, they’re also used for other injuries and conditions, such as De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis occurs when the tendon’s sheath is inflamed. It manifests in similar symptoms to tendonitis.
You should wear a thumb brace for a few weeks if you’re dealing with tendonitis, depending on how long the thumb or wrist tendons need to heal. It’s recommended not to wear a splint for more than two hours straight.
Thumb spica splints, in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs, are more effective for mild cases of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis compared to moderate or severe cases.
Where Can You Get a Brace for Tendonitis?
If you’ve decided to use a brace or were recommended by your doctor to get one, you won’t have to worry about knowing where to purchase it – I got you!
You can get a brace for tendonitis in many online stores and pharmacies. A great approach would be to consult with your doctor – besides recommending a store, they may also give critical advice on how to use or wear the brace. Improper use may aggravate the condition.
What Else Can You Use Besides a Brace for Tendonitis?
If you want the luxury of options to see what works best for you, there are other highly efficient supplies and devices besides a brace that you can use while healing your tendon.
Besides a brace, you can also use an elastic bandage or tube bandage to support the body part affected by tendonitis. A splint or clutch is also an excellent alternative. These devices help with the limitation or immobilization of the inflamed part, preventing the condition from worsening.
Most of these options are available in drug stores or online stores. However, it might be best to consult your healthcare provider before deciding. Complete lack of movement, which is possible for some devices like splints, may not be recommendable for certain types of tendonitis.
What Are Other Treatment Options for Tendonitis?
Often, tendonitis is cured at-home home through rest, the help of crutches, some anti-inflammatory medicines, and a few simple stretching exercises. However, those measures may not be enough in some cases.
Other treatment options for tendonitis include antibiotics, steroid injections, shockwave therapy, platelet-rich plasma injections, surgery, focused aspiration of scar tissue, and whirlpool treatments.
Here are other treatment options for tendonitis besides first aid treatment and physical therapy:
- Antibiotics. They may be prescribed for conditions of tendonitis that may be caused by infections, like those caused by animal bites.
- Steroid injections. Corticosteroids or steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that may be used for some injuries.
- Shockwave therapy. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is applicable for chronic cases of tendonitis. Shockwaves are sent to the affected tissue to alleviate pain and encourage healing. It is a non-invasive alternative to surgery.
- Platelet-rich plasma injections. The patient’s platelets are isolated from their blood through centrifugation and injected into the affected area. These platelets release growth factors that induce or promote healing.
- Surgery. This is a rare course of action taken for chronic forms of tendonitis. Damaged tissue may be removed through surgery, and ruptured tendons are fixed.
- Focused aspiration of scar tissue (FAST). This is a procedure used to remove tendon scar tissue. It then allows the tendons and tissues to function normally again. It’s quick, non-invasive, and covered by many insurance companies.
- Whirlpool treatments. This is a form of hydrotherapy previously used for burns only. This treatment impacts the patient’s circulation. There are two types of whirlpool treatment – hot or cold – with the cold whirlpool treatment decreases circulation to the area—this aids in the reduction of swelling.
Tendonitis, or the inflammation of one’s tendons, is a condition that should not be ignored. Treatment through rest is crucial for a more straightforward healing process; otherwise, the tendon may tear or degenerate, making it harder to heal.
Devices like braces assist in the healing process of tendonitis by limiting movement. They may be worn for days or weeks but rarely for 24 hours straight. Medical advice can be very beneficial if you opt to use a brace.
Allied USA Offers Several Kinds of Braces
If you’ve received the doctor’s green signal, look no further – Allied USA offers an excellent selection of braces!
We can provide you with every variety you might be looking for: knee braces, ankle braces, wrist braces, elbow braces, back braces, and much more. These come in various brands, designs, prices, and sizes. Our online store makes it that much more convenient for you to check them out.
- MedlinePlus: Tendon vs. ligament
- JUMPSTART by WebMD: Understanding Tendinitis — Diagnosis and Treatment
- Allied USA: 550 RESULTS FOR “BRACE”
- Mayo Clinic: Sports medicine practitioners embrace benefits of extracorporeal shock wave therapy
- Healthdirect: Tendonitis
- American Academy of Family Physicians: Braces and Splints for Common Musculoskeletal Conditions
- My Sports: Whirlpool
- U.S. Center for Sports Medicine: FAST
- HSS: Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
- NHS: Tendonitis
- Mayo Clinic: Tendinitis
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Tendonitis
- NHS Ayrshire & Arran: Wrist: Activity Advice and Modifications (MSK)
- University of Rochester Medical Center: The Best Ways to Treat, Prevent Tendonitis
- Cleveland Clinic: Tendinitis
- HSS: Tendonitis / Tendinitis
- JUMPSTART by WebMD: Tendinitis
- Medical News Today: What to know about tendinitis
- Sports Health: Nonsurgical Treatment for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis