There are some things you can try at home but if you are in severe pain you need to consult a healthcare provider for diagnosis and advice.
Tendinitis responds well to P.R.I.C.E (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation).
- Protection: Protect from further injury by using a support if appropriate (eg, an injured leg or foot may be protected by limiting weight-bearing through the use of crutches or a walking stick. An injured area could be supported with a sling or a brace).
- Rest: Avoid activities that cause pain for 48–72 hours.
- Ice: Apply ice wrapped in a damp towel (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) for 20 minutes every 2–3 hours during the day for the first 2–3 days.
- Compression: Use supportive bandages or wraps (eg, an elastic bandage or tubular bandage). But make sure you remove them all before going to bed.
- Elevation: Hold the leg, hand or arm up in a raised position, supported by a pillow.
Avoid H.A.R.M (heat, alcohol, running and massage) for the first few days after the injury as they can make the swelling worse.
- Heat: No hot baths or heat packs.
- Alcohol: Don't drink alcohol.
- Running: Don't run or do any other vigorous exercise.
- Massage: Don't massage the area.
Ask a pharmacist about which pain medication (eg, paracetamol or ibuprofen) is right for you. They can also advise on whether a cream or gel will be helpful.
Once the inflammation (swelling) and pain have decreased, specific exercises can help make the tendon strong and avoid further problems. A physiotherapist can advise you about these.