Image Pop Up
Image of Justin Vorwaller, MBA

Why You Shouldn’t Push Through Tendonitis?

Many people overlook tendonitis, assuming it is a minor issue. However, this condition can lead to severe consequences if not treated with the attention it deserves. Whether you are an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or simply going about your daily routine, ignoring the signs of tendonitis and trying to persevere through the pain can be a lot of work. This article emphasizes why it is not recommended to push through tendonitis and highlights the importance of prioritizing rest, recovery, and preventive measures.

Understanding Tendonitis

Tendonitis is a painful medical condition that results from the inflammation of tendons, which are the fibrous cords that connect muscles to bones. It usually occurs due to repetitive overuse of a specific tendon, sudden injury, or trauma. The affected tendons commonly include those in the elbows, shoulders, knees, and wrists.

Activities requiring repetitive movements, such as typing, playing sports, or weightlifting, can cause strain and stress on the tendons, leading to tendonitis. The condition can cause discomfort, pain, and limited mobility, and if left untreated, it can lead to further complications.

Is it OK to push through tendonitis?

This is a question that many individuals facing tendonitis ponder. The answer, however, is a resounding no. Here are several reasons why you should avoid pushing through tendonitis:

1. Prolonged Recovery

Pushing through tendonitis can prolong your recovery period. The body needs time to heal, and by persisting with activities that exacerbate the condition, you're hindering the natural healing process. This means that what could have been a few weeks of rest and rehabilitation might have turned into several months or more.

2. Increased Pain and Discomfort

Attempting to push through tendonitis can intensify the pain and discomfort associated with the condition. This not only affects your physical well-being but also has a significant impact on your mental health. Persistent pain can lead to frustration, stress, and a reduced quality of life.

3. Potential for Permanent Damage

In extreme cases, neglecting tendonitis can permanently damage the affected tendon or surrounding structures. This can lead to losing strength, range of motion, and functionality in the affected area, potentially affecting your ability to perform daily activities.

4. Risk of Chronic Tendonitis

Chronic tendonitis is a more severe and persistent form of the condition. If you ignore the initial symptoms of tendonitis and continue to stress the affected tendon, it can lead to a chronic illness that is much more challenging to manage. Chronic tendonitis often requires more aggressive treatments and lifestyle adjustments.

The Importance of Rest and Recovery

Rest is a crucial component of the healing process when dealing with tendonitis. By allowing your body to recover, you let the inflamed tendon settle down and repair itself. Here are some essential steps to take when dealing with tendonitis:

  1. Identify the trigger: The first step is identifying the activities or movements exacerbating your tendonitis. This may involve consulting with a healthcare professional who can provide a diagnosis and recommend specific modifications to your lifestyle or exercise routine.
  2. Rest: Once you've identified the trigger, giving the affected tendon adequate rest is essential. This means avoiding activities that strain the tendon and cause pain. Rest is the foundation of the healing process.
  3. Ice and elevation: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Elevating the affected limb can also assist in reducing swelling.
  4. Supportive measures: In some cases, braces, splints, or supportive wraps can help protect the affected tendon and prevent further damage while it heals.
  5. Physical therapy: A structured physical therapy program can significantly benefit tendonitis. Physical therapists can guide you through exercises that promote healing and strengthen the supporting muscles.
  6. Correct technique and form: If the tendonitis is related to a particular sport or exercise, addressing any issues with approach or form is essential. Working with a coach or trainer can help you use proper mechanics to prevent future flare-ups.

Preventing Future Flare-ups

Once you've recovered from tendonitis, taking steps to prevent future occurrences is essential. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Gradual progression: Avoid jumping back in at full intensity when returning to physical activity. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to allow your body to adapt.
  2. Cross-training: Incorporate cross-training into your routine to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. This involves varying your activities to engage different muscle groups and reduce strain on specific tendons.
  3. Listen to your body: Closely to any signs of discomfort or pain during physical activity. If you notice any symptoms of tendonitis returning, step back and modify your actions accordingly.
  4. Maintain proper nutrition: A balanced diet can support tendon health. Ensure you get adequate nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that promote tissue repair and reduce inflammation.
  5. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can exacerbate inflammation and slow healing. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and support tissue recovery.

Laser Therapy for Tendonitis

Laser therapy could be an excellent option if you're dealing with tendonitis. This treatment method is safe and effective and can relieve pain, improve your range of motion, and even help speed up healing.

This type of therapy stimulates the production of ATP, a molecule that cells use for energy. This increased energy production helps to reduce inflammation and pain and promotes tissue repair. Laser therapy can also help improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage, further reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

A study published in the “National Library of Medicine” found that low laser therapy and exercise applications can improve tendinopathy illnesses. The number of laser therapy sessions needed for tendonitis will vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, most people will need 6-12 sessions. 

As you already know, tendonitis may not seem a significant issue at first glance, but treating it with the respect it deserves is essential. Remember, your body's health and well-being should always come first; pushing through tendonitis is never the right approach.

Laser vs. Photobiomodulation Therapy: What's the Difference?
8 Ways to Boost Your Circulation