Physical Therapy for Tendinitis

Physical Therapy for Tendinitis

If it isn’t treated properly, tendinitis can cause serious pain. This condition, which is also called tendonitis, is a form of tendon inflammation that is generally caused by repetitive motions. Tendinitis can occur in any tendon in the body, but it most commonly occurs in areas of the body that are subjected to repetitive movements. Physical therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for this condition.

What Is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis can also appear as a comorbid condition in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, other immune disorders, or thyroid disorders. This condition can occur if you have abnormal joint growth or joint placement that stresses your muscles and tendons. Furthermore, tendinitis can be caused by infections, incorrect posture, or failure to prepare properly for exercise.

Whatever the underlying cause of tendinitis may be, this condition results in an easily recognizable set of symptoms. Early signs of tendinitis include soreness around a particular joint that may be accompanied by physical redness and swelling. If tendinitis is not properly treated or if an individual with this condition continues to perform the actions that led to this condition, the symptoms can worsen to the extent that serious damage to the joint occurs.

If tendinitis is caused by overuse of a joint, physical therapy may be effective in treating this condition. Even when tendinitis is caused by an autoimmune disorder or another type of chronic disorder, this condition may be alleviated by physical therapy.

How Do You Know if You Have Tendinitis?

If you’re experiencing pain and inflammation in one of your joints, you shouldn’t automatically assume that you are suffering from tendinitis. Joint inflammation and swelling can occur for a number of reasons, and your symptoms may clear up on their own with a few days of rest and relaxation.

You should consult a doctor about your symptoms if they last more than a few days. In some cases, the same symptoms that tendinitis exhibits can be signs that you have a serious infection, so you should always talk with your doctor if you have joint pain that doesn’t resolve itself within 72 hours or so.

How Do Physical Therapists Treat Tendinitis?

Your primary care physician or physical therapist can usually diagnose tendinitis with by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical examination. Your care provider may also ask you about any previous joint conditions that you have experienced; if you’ve had tendinitis before, this condition may appear again in the same place.

In some cases, your provider may order medical imaging tests to determine the nature of your joint injury. These tests may be warranted if your doctor is concerned that you have sustained joint tears or you have an internal infection. In most circumstances, however, it’s possible to perform a diagnosis and begin treatment for tendinitis without much fuss.

Your physical therapist may use a variety of therapeutic techniques to improve the symptoms of your tendinitis. For instance, eccentric training has been shown to be effective in treating tendinitis.

This type of therapy involves slowing down the elongation of the muscles that occurs when they are under a load. Eccentric training may result in faster muscle and tendon repair, and it may also make the muscles in the affected area stronger in general.

Your physical therapist may also perform various types of manual therapy such as massage therapy. In some cases, dry needling may be an effective treatment for tendinitis. This therapy is similar to acupuncture, and it involves the insertion of unmedicated needles into myofascial trigger points. Either hollow-core hypodermic needles or solid filiform needles can be used for this treatment.

If your tendinitis was caused by muscular stress or poor posture, your physical therapist may educate you on ways to avoid encountering this issue in the future. Whether your condition was caused by daily stress or weekend overexertion, expert education may help you heal your tendinitis.

Which Physical Therapy Exercises Help with Tendinitis?

Since tendinitis can occur in so many different areas of the body, there are quite a few different types of techniques that may be effective in reducing the symptoms of this condition. Here are a few common physical therapy treatments for different areas of your body that may be affected by tendinitis:


Tennis elbow is one of the most common types of tendinitis. Here are some exercises that may help you with the symptoms of this condition:

1. Fist clench: Place your forearm on a table, and put a ball or towel in your hand. Squeeze the object for 10 seconds and release.

2. Towel twist: Roll up a towel, and hold one end in each hand. Twist the towel forward and backward.

Foot and Ankle

Conditions like PTT dysfunction can cause tendinitis in your foot and ankle. You might experience relief if you try these exercises:

1. Balance exercises: Using a wobble board or a similar balancing tool, hold your balance for as long as possible.

2. Plyometric exercises: Examples of plyometric exercises include drop jumps and single leg hops. These types of exercises are especially beneficial if you are an athlete.

Finger and Thumb

Motions like clicking a computer mouse can result in tendinitis in the finger or thumb. These exercises might help with this condition:

1. Spreading: Spread your fingers apart as far as they can go, and slowly allow them to move back into place.

2. Hand pulls: With your fingers pointing straight out, pull your fingers back with your other hand.


Repetitive motions like moving a computer mouse can result in wrist tendinitis. Try these exercises if you have this condition:

1. Flexion: Slowly bend your wrist forward.

2. Extension: Slowly bend your wrist backward.

3. Handshake: Move your wrist from side to side in a handshake motion.

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