massage and tendonitis

Can a Massage Really Help With Tendonitis Inflammation?

Tendonitis is a painful condition that can limit movement and affect your quality of life, but several treatment methods can help with recovery by promoting greater comfort, healing and strength. Massage is one effective treatment that can improve physical and emotional health. Learn more about what tendonitis is and how massage can improve the recovery process.

What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis refers to inflamed tendons that increase pain and decrease mobility. Tendons are bands of connective tissue that connect muscles to bones. They are designed to withstand movement, but with repetitive motions or traumatic injuries, they can become torn, irritated and inflamed.

Whom Does Tendonitis Affect?

Anyone can get tendonitis, but this condition is particularly common in those who play sports or participate in repetitive actions for work, like landscaping, or hobbies, like art. It is also common as people age since tendons lose elasticity and durability over time. 

Others who may suffer from tendonitis include those who:

  • Use improper form when exercising.
  • Continue exercising without adequate rest.
  • Possess anatomical issues.

Tendonitis Symptoms

Tendonitis often occurs in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and knees. Achilles tendonitis is also common since we use this tendon for running, walking, twisting, turning and other vigorous activities.

Symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness and pain
  • Stiffness and restricted movement
  • Grating or crackling sensations 
  • Heat and redness around the area
  • Muscle weakness

As tendonitis impairs movement and decreases comfort, affected individuals may experience greater emotional stress and a lower quality of life. 

Tendonitis vs. Tendinosis — What’s the Difference?

Tendonitis happens when tendons are inflamed from overuse, while tendinosis occurs due to tendon degeneration from long-term repetitive stress. Tendonitis and tendinosis both affect tendons, so their symptoms are similar. Tendonitis may even turn into tendinosis if left untreated.

How Do You Treat Tendonitis?

It can take anywhere from weeks to months for your body to fully recover from tendonitis, depending on the severity. Inflammation can make it difficult for joints to receive the nutrients they need for recovery, so reducing inflammation is one of the first steps toward healing.

You can treat tendonitis in a few ways, including:

  • Resting your body: Discontinuing the activity that caused tendonitis and other painful movements will give your body time to heal.
  • Icing the area: Putting ice on the affected area will help reduce the swelling and pain associated with tendonitis.
  • Elevating the injured limb: Raising the injured area above your heart can help drain excess fluid, decrease swelling and alleviate pain.
  • Bracing the area: Immobilizing the inflamed area will enable your body to rest and heal from tendonitis.
  • Taking over-the-counter medications: Using anti-inflammatory medication will help reduce swelling around the affected area to promote healing and relief.

The best way to address tendonitis is to take preventive measures, such as warming up and cooling down with proper techniques and using the right type of gear. Strengthening and stretching the muscles that connect to tendons can help reduce tendonitis risk while increasing mobility.

Can a Massage Help Tendonitis?

Another tendonitis treatment method is massage. Massage focuses on injured tendons and the surrounding muscle tissue to ease pain, promote healing, and improve mental and emotional health.

Benefits of Massage for Tendonitis

Percussive massage can improve muscle strength and recovery, speeding up the healing process and enabling you to feel your best. Some more advantages of tendonitis massages include:

  • Relieving deep soreness: Massage can reduce pain and encourage inflamed tendons to relax.
  • Decreasing swelling: A massage can help with inflammation by stimulating the lymphatic system, which reduces waste, pain and swelling. 
  • Increasing circulation: Improved blood flow from massage can help tendons get the nutrients they need to repair injuries and heal.
  • Releasing tension: Massage can loosen tightened muscles and break up scar tissue to reduce stiffness and increase mobility.
  • Promoting relaxation: Massaging sore tendons can bring emotional benefits, too, such as encouraging feelings of peace and serenity.

Massage is most effective when paired with other forms of treatment, such as rest, ice, compression and elevation.

When to Wait Before Getting a Tendonitis Massage

While massage can be a beneficial tendonitis treatment, a few instances may require patience before you receive one.

You will want to wait before getting a massage if:

  • It’s only been 48 hours after the initial injury.
  • You have significant swelling and inflammation.
  • Pain levels are high.

Massaging affected tendons in these instances can exacerbate your condition, resulting in more pain and inflammation. To give your body the best chance of recovery, wait until these instances pass before receiving a massage.

Learn How Self-Massage Tools Can Help With Tendonitis

Myobuddy’s self-massage tools are revolutionizing muscle therapy, enabling individuals to find the comfort, strength and relief they need to achieve their goals and live their dreams. If you have questions about our products or service resources, get in touch with us and we’ll help you find the solutions you need.

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