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Tendonitis, or also known by another name tendinitis or tendinopathy, is an inflammatory condition in tendons, a strong band of tissue in the body that joins a muscle to a bone. Tendon has great importance in daily human activities; therefore, when tendon injury and inflammation happens, it causes many pains, swelling, and difficulties. So, what could be treatments for this problem? Treatment of this disease may include rest, splinting, NSAIDs, and physiotherapy. Besides, there are also many natural home remedies that can help this problem. The answer will be found on our site. We are going to list out the best science based home remedies for tendonitis in foot, forearm, and wrist. Check them out!
There is no science-based evidence for the following homemade recipes. The recipes we've focused on are traditional home remedies, so always consult your doctor and check out your health condition regularly to know if a remedy is working for you.
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Home Remedies For Tendonitis: 11 Science-Based Treatments In Foot, Forearm & Wrist
I. Causes Of Tendonitis In Foot, Forearm, And Wrist
Sometimes, tendonitis can stem from sudden injuries, but the main cause of this disease is the overuse of tendons in feet, forearms, and wrists. People whose jobs and hobbies require repetitive motions usually put a constant strain on tendons in such areas, break down the normal tissue, which results in pain, swelling, and the weak-functional ability of the tendons. For example, people usually playing badminton, and tennis or work in a production line have the higher risk of wrist and forearm tendonitis, or people linked with running, walking, or excessive standing may get foot tendonitis. Less common causes can include arthritis, gout, infection, thyroid disease, and diabetes.
II. Home Remedies For Tendonitis In Foot, Forearm, And Wrist
1. R.I.C.E Therapy
The first home remedy that we want to introduce to all of you is R.I.C.E therapy, which is suggested by many physical therapists in the world. It is the most effective way to control pain and discomfort caused by tendonitis in different parts of our bodies. R, I, C, E stand for: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Below are explanations for such treatments:
Rest: Because tendonitis mainly stems from too many physical activities. Therefore, when you have to suffer tendonitis, it is necessary to stay away from such activities to reduce the inflammation. Be conscious of the time you spend on your feet, wrists, and forearms. Also, you can use a splint or a brace to restrict the mobility of the affected areas.
Ice: Regularly apply ice pack may help to soothe the pain, swelling, and tenderness of tendonitis. However, shocking tendons with extreme cold is not as good as you lower the temperature of an ice pack gradually. Instead of using an ice pack, you also can replace by a heating pad or a bottle of hot water in about 15 to 20 minutes. This treatment can help you to get pain relief in bad days, not only for your tendonitis but also for other muscles-related pains.
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Compress: While you are sleeping or doing sophisticated activities, you can stabilize tendons and support such areas by using compression socks and footwear, so that they do not have to suffer any extra strain. Noticeably, compression does not help much in chronic cases of pain so you should ask for other treatments.
Elevation: Raising the affected areas in an elevated position can improve the blood flow and relax tendons and muscles, then brings you nearly immediate relief.
Although this remedy can help you to ease symptoms of tendonitis quickly, you also need to seek sources of the disease.
Exercises are good for our health, especially for joint and muscle pains. Here we introduce you some exercises to help you relieve from tendonitis in your wrists, forearms, and feet. They should be applied not only after tendonitis happens but also before because they prevent injuries in the future.
Exercises for wrist tendinitis: Exercises for injured wrists are very simple and straightforward, including wrist rotations, and side wrist bends, which should be done twice a day. Below are a few exercises that you can try right now.
- Thumb stretch: Make a “thumbs-up” gesture with one hand and then lightly press the base of your thumb forward with the other hand. You can feel the stretch when you apply light pressure.
- Wrist stretches: Gently roll your wrists in a clockwise fashion for 15 seconds and then reverse, do this for as long as possible. You can also hold one hand in front of you with your palms facing outward and with the other hand, slightly ease the fingers of the outstretched hand backward, feeling the stretch as you do so.
- Flexion exercises: Pivot the wrist down to make the palm move closer to the inside of your arm. Outstretch your hand with the palm facing downward. While you lower your fingers face toward the ground, you can feel the stretch.
- Extension exercises: Move the wrist so that back to the hand approaches the top of the arm. This workout can be practiced with an outstretched hand, with your palm facing downward, and lifting your fingers towards the ceiling.
- Tendon gliding exercises: Begin with a flat hand, then use your fingers of the same hand to touch the top of your palm, then back again. Now reach for the center of your palm, then to the bottom. To exercise the thumb, move it back and forth from your palm then back to “thumbs up” position. This exercise helps to improve tendon lubrication for greater ease of motion.
Exercises for forearm tendonitis: Some wrist exercises such as wrist extension, flexion, and stretch are helpful with forearm tendonitis so you totally can apply them for your conditions. Besides, we would like to introduce some others below.
- Pronation and Supination: Look for a large wrench or hammer. Hold it at the furthest end away from the head. You place the forearm on the thigh just as you performed for the wrist extension and flexion exercise. Rotate the forearm gradually over until the palm of the hand is facing up and as far over in that direction.
- Ball Squeeze: You take a soft rubber ball fitting in your palm. Gently squeeze and release the ball 15 to 20 times.
If you play sports and suffer forearm tendonitis, you also need to care for your shoulders because tendonitis happening in your forearms can relate to the weakness in other parts of the body.
Exercises for foot tendonitis: You should gently stretch your foot, ankle, and calf three to four times per day, put much focus on stretching the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Here are steps to stretch your foot tendons:
- Stand straight white facing the wall, and then put the hands against the wall.
- Place the ball of your foot onto the wall, so your toes are stretched toward the ceiling and you keep the heel stationary on the floor.
- Bring your knee into the wall gradually.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and release.
- Follow the repetition with each foot three times.
When you feel pain in your tendons, stop exercises immediately to reduce unexpected injuries.
There is advice for people playing sports, that you should do the warm-up exercises carefully because tendonitis may come from sudden injuries in any sports sections.
3. Epsom Salt
Soaking or sponging the affected areas with warm water combined with Epsom salt is one of the best home remedies for tendonitis. The heat from the water contains soothing effects, assists magnesium sulfate content in Epsom salt absorbed into your body through the skin more easily and quickly, which brings benefits in healing the muscles and connective tissues (tendon is a kind of connective tissues). Additionally, this remedy promotes relaxation and detoxification of our body parts.
How to do:
- Stir a half cup of Epsom salt in a small tub of warm water until the salt has completely dissolved. Then soak your affected areas (feet, forearms, wrists) in this solution in about an hour. Do the repetition 2 to 3 times per week for several weeks to witness the best results. (Note: Because Epsom salt can trigger dryness of the skin, you should apply moisturizer after each time following this remedy).
- If you do not want to soak your hurt muscles in water, you can also use a washcloth as a compress instead. Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt in one cup of warm water, then soak the washcloth on the solution and apply on your muscles for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil comes with an anti-inflammatory ingredient, which is similar to some common painkillers. Thus, olive oil is famous as a natural treatment for pains and muscle relaxation. Massage therapy with olive oil would present you enough safe relief from tendonitis discomfort. This remedy promotes the blood circulation around the affected areas, helps you to escape from the pain sensation, swelling, and redness as well.
- Heat some drops of olive oil until it warms (Warm up the olive oil is proven to bring double benefits to your pain relief).
- Gently massage your feet, wrists or forearms in about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat it once regularly until the pain subsides.
In case you do not have olive oil, you can replace by mustard oil or sesame oil, which also has relevant uses. After massaging your affected muscles, you can apply an ice pack to these sites to get more relaxation.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
The anti-inflammatory properties present in apple cider vinegar make it become one of the best home remedies for tendonitis. Apple cider vinegar is an organic product, well known for its ability to promote circulation and reduce irritation of tendons. It possesses powerful anti-inflammatory effects due to its acetic acid. It may help decrease pain, inflammation, and swelling.
What to do:
- Put 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water and add a teaspoon of honey to improve the taste.
- Consume this mixture 2 to 3 times per day.
Read more: Apple cider vinegar also helps in treating knee pain. (This article was medically reviewed/fact checked by Millie Lytle, ND, MPH).
6. Vinegar Wraps
Applying hot and cold vinegar wraps can help reduce pain and abate the inflammation caused by tendonitis, concretely, the hot wraps have functions to minimize pains and relax sore muscles while the cold wraps decrease inflammation. Vinegar, itself, plays a role as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Pour white vinegar and water in equal amounts into a large pan and heat them to make a hot wrap, do the same thing but not heat to make a cold one.
- Soak a towel in the mixture, wring, and then wrap it around your affected areas for 5 to 10 minutes, then follow the same manner with the cold mixture.
- Do the repetitions about 3 times daily and don’t forget to use a moisturizer to treat the dryness.
7. Sage Leaves
The use of sage leaves in medicine is well-documented thousand years ago: improve brain function, prevent chronic diseases, etc. Sage leaves also help to combat tendonitis because of their properties in pain relief and inflammation.
How to do:
- Gently rub some fresh sage leaves together on your palms to crush them.
- Boil the leaves with two-thirds cup of apple cider vinegar in a few minutes and simmer for about five minutes.
- Cool down the solution a little and soak a piece of cotton cloth in the mixture and wring out the water. Put it on the affected area for 10 minutes.
- Besides, you can use sage tea instead. Steep up a teaspoon of dried sage leaves in a cup of hot water in 10 minutes and then drink it twice daily.
Chickweed is a natural herb that contains a number of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help reduce inflammation, stiffness, pain, and tenderness associated stem from tendonitis. The herb is also best known for its healing properties, ability to speed up healing from internal to external flare-ups.
Method 1: Chickweed paste
- Crush some chickweed leaves and mix with water to make a chickweed paste.
- Apply it to the affected muscles.
- Leave it on for a couple of minutes before washing with lukewarm water.
- Use this remedy 2 times per day until you get considerable relief.
Method 2: Chickweed tea
- Steep 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh (or dried) chickweed in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain the tea and drink it.
9. Cabbage Leaves
The use of cabbage as a folk remedy for soothing painful joints and muscles such as arthritis has been documented for hundreds of years. Cabbage contains many vitamins, phytonutrients, anthocyanins, and glutamine. Therefore, applying cabbage leaves as compress for tendonitis will bring you surprising results.
- Peel away the outer leaves of the cabbage. Wash thoroughly and cut out the hard stem by a sharp knife.
- Dry leaves completely flatten them using a rolling pin to bruise the leaves, releasing their natural juices.
- Wrap the cabbage leaves in foil and place in the oven for a few minutes to warm them and make the leaves pliable (Don’t forget to test temperature before touching).
- Wrap cabbage leaves around the affected areas at least one hour.
- Repeat the remedy 2 to 3 times as a daily basis.
10. Carbonated Water
Not only is carbonated water (or soda water) a healthy drink but also an effective remedy for tendonitis because it helps to reduce pain and inflammation. You can drink it every day for health and keep your body refresh. Besides, follow our steps below to have a treatment for tendonitis.
- Soak your affected areas in sugarless carbonated water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat this process twice to thrice a day for the pain relief.
11. Cayenne Pepper
The chemical capsaicin housed in cayenne pepper is well-known as a natural pain reliever . Besides, the warming effect of cayenne pepper is also very soothing.
How to do:
- Put 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper in ½ cup of warm olive oil.
- Apply this paste to the affected areas and leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes before washing with fresh water.
- Do the repetition several times per day to get the relief.
Remember not to apply this treatment of open skin and wounds to avoid serious and burning sensations.
Tendonitis in the foot, forearm, and wrist causes many pains and discomfort, so you should always keep our these above home remedies for tendonitis in mind. However, all content provided is for informational & educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.