Length of time for tendonitis to healHealing time depends on the overall health, age, and how serious the tendonitis is.
- A mild case for a person under 40 could heal in two to four weeks
- A moderate case in 4 to 6 weeks
- An extreme case can take months
Symptoms and SignsMild cases can feel like sore muscles. However, moderate symptoms, depending on the affected area, can include:
ShoulderWhen reaching for something or lifting an object, pain is felt in the shoulder.
ElbowPain sometimes can be sharp on the outside of the elbow joint. This along with sore muscles or muscles that are painful to the touch. In the forearm and wrist, it can happen in the inner elbow but is not as common.
WristPain is usually in the inner joint of the wrist or below the thumb. And the joint is tender/sensitive to the touch. It can make driving a painful task.
In the KneeSwelling and stiffness are common, along with pain when bending, walking, or when putting weight on the affected knee.
In the FootPain is felt in the Achilles and the foot is tender/sensitive when walking.
If left untreated will it go away on its own?In certain cases. it can but one should never ignore pain symptoms. Pain is the body’s way of telling the individual that there is something wrong.
Resting the affected tendonsThe first thing a doctor will say is that the painful area needs to rest from various types of activities. Rest works to alleviate the symptoms of only the mildest forms of tendonitis. Most individuals are unaware that they have tendonitis until it reaches the moderate stage. Resting the affected area does help, however, even with moderate damage, rest alone probably won’t take care of the inflammation. An individual will need to do some sort of stretching/strengthening/rehabilitation of the area. Otherwise, when returning to normal activities including what caused the injury the individual is only going to overuse the tendon/s again.
Difficult to completely rest the affected joint/sCompletely resting the arm, hand, shoulder, or foot for 4-6 weeks is a serious challenge. Most individuals will not be able to accomplish this with their job, children, and all the other responsibilities that they have for 4-6 weeks. Most individuals can take a week, but even then don’t really stop using the affected joint completely. When the regular routine returns along with the activity/job that caused the tendonitis, because of the light rest, the pain comes back within a few days to a few weeks.
It can become a chronic condition left untreatedWhen left untreated tendonitis can become chronic. What happens is the constant inflammation progressively becomes chronic. Healing chronic tendonitis is a long and painful process that can require surgery. A chronic case can take months to heal along with rehabilitation to strengthen the affected tendons. Chronic cases can feel like a knife being driven into the joint, even with simple tasks like turning/pulling a door handle.
Avoiding surgeryContinued use of the joint means inflammation will continue and it will get worse. In severe cases, where conservative treatment/s has not helped surgery could be required. When it comes to tendon surgery, it does not heal like a broken bone. After the surgery, the joint can become permanently stiff and the full range of motion does not return. Healing time is around 12 weeks, depending on the overall health, age, and severity. A full recovery could take as long as 6 months. Avoiding surgery can be accomplished if proper treatment is sought out as soon as there is a feeling of joint tingling, numbness, and pain.
Healing treatmentGetting treatment as soon as possible is key. Even if the pain is not tendonitis but a pulled muscle, the body will heal faster with the proper treatment. Chiropractors are highly skilled specialists in the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic care that includes manipulation, massage, ultrasound, etc. has shown to be highly effective in the treatment of tendonitis. Depending on the diagnosis, a chiropractor will utilize other therapies as a part of the treatment plan, including:
- Therapeutic massage
- Heat therapy
- Rehabilitation exercise
- Rehabilitation stretching
- Cold laser therapy
- Ergonomic changes to the workstation
- Taking anti-inflammatory supplements
- Refer the individual to a different specialist if other issues fall outside of their range of practice.