How to Treat Tendonitis in Wrist & Arm

By Gregory Hamel

Tendonitis is a medical condition characterized by the inflammation of a tendon which results in soreness or pain. Tendonitis is commonly the result of over-stressing a tendon with repetitive use. Since the hands and arms are used for a wide variety of tasks, the wrist and elbow joints are susceptible to tendonitis. Treating tendonitis in any part of the body requires limiting strain on the tendons to allow healing and using physical therapy exercises to stabilize joints and prevent future problems.

Tendonitis Care

Step 1

Apply ice to the affected areas for fifteen minutes every two to three hours until tendonitis pain dissipates.

Step 2

Wrap a compression bandage around the wrist or elbow to limit blood flow and welling during the hours when you are not icing.

Step 3

Take anti-inflammatory medication as pain persists to limit pain and swelling.

Step 4

Use a wrist brace or arm sling to immobilize the affected joint until pain dissipates and the joint can move without causing pain or soreness. Resting a joint that has tendonitis is of utmost importance as returning to physical activity too soon will likely irritate the tendon.

Physical Therapy

Step 1

Maintain range of motion and increase flexibility by stretching the wrist and forearm. Warm up by making slow circles with your wrists. Next, use your healthy arm to gently bend the fingers on your injured arm back and and then press them down toward your forearm. Keep your injured arm at full extension during these stretches.

Step 2

Use wrist curls to strengthen your forearms and stabilize the elbow and wrist. Wrist curls can be done by curling a jar or light dumbbell up and down with the strength of the wrist with the forearm. Position the back of your forearm on a flat surface and allow your hand to droop off the edge of the surface to give the wrist the proper range of motion to curl up and down.

Step 3

Resume more strenuous activities slowly and cautiously. It is often easy to determine the activity that causes tendonitis. Be wary in resuming the activity that caused the injury and build up your activity levels slowly while continuing to do exercises to stretch and strengthen the forearms and wrists.

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