First Aid Treatment and Management for Tendinitis

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Tendinitis is defined as the swelling, inflammation and irritation of the tendon, usually causing tenderness and pain directly in the region where the joint is located. The tendon is a fibrous tissue that attaches the muscle to the bone in the human body that help enable the muscles to move the bones. Tendinitis can vary in name, depending on the affected joint. Some of the common names for the different variations of tendinitis include: Golfer’s elbow/ Tennis elbow, Swimmer’s shoulder/ Pitcher’s shoulder and Jumper’s Knee.

Although tendinitis can occur to anyone, the tendons tend to lose its elasticity as a person ages, thus they cannot tolerate as much stress and can tear easier.Individuals over 40 are the common victims. It is, however, observed that having systemic illnesses such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can increase a person’s susceptibility of tendinitis. Having poor posture is also known to increase an individual’s likelihood of developing the damage.

Most Common Locations for Tendinitis

Tendinitis can occur to any of the tendons in the body, but there are several common locations which are the following:

  • Achilles tendon (heel)
  • Knee
  • Hip
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Base of the thumb

Causes of Tendinitis

                Tendinitis is frequently occurs as a result of injury, overuse or aging. The following activities may lead to tendinitis due to its repetitive motion or increased risks of suffering an injury from the particular activity:

  • Gymnastics
  • Running
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Throwing and pitching
  • Skiing
  • Gardening
  • Shovelling and raking
  • Carpentry
  • Painting and scrubbing

Signs and Symptoms of Tendinitis

The following are the most common signs and symptoms of tendinitis.

  • Tenderness and pain where the tendon is located and its neighbouring areas, which can either appear abruptly and intensely or gradually increase, that aggravates upon movement
  • Night pain
  • Warm and red in the tendon and surrounding area
  • Loss of motion in the affected joint

First Aid Treatment and Management for Tendinitis


Tendinitis is not usually a medical emergency and can be managed at home. However, it may be necessary to seek medical care in case additional therapy may be necessary. Always administer first aid to help alleviate pain and inflammation of the affected tendon. To apply first aid, follow the RICE therapy:

  • Rest the affected area. Do not perform any activity that may aggravate the symptoms. It is necessary to immobilize the affected area to avoid aggravating the injury.
  • Ice the affected area. Wrap the ice in a towel or plastic bag to avoid directly applying the ice to the skin to prevent further damage. Do this for 20 minutes several times a day.
  • Compress the affected joint until swelling stops. Make use of wraps or compressive elastic bandages.
  • Elevate the affected area above heart level, if possible.
  • To help reduce pain and inflammation, take over-the-counter paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin. Do not give aspirin to individuals younger than 19 years of age as it is linked to Reye’s syndrome.

Disclaimer: This article should not be substituted for medical advice or treatment. It is highly recommended for athletes and people closely working with athletes to take First Aid Courses to know how to properly treat and manage victims of tendinitis and other tissue injuries in the body.

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