Treating Tendonitis and Broken Bones at Home

Here's some practical advice from practicing physicians for treating tendonitis and broken bones, two common fall injuries.

| October/November 1994

Modern medicine has achieved so much that people often look to it for instant cures. But for some maladies the cure is something no pill can duplicate: time and rest. The best you can hope to do is ease the course nature must follow. When recovering from tendonitis or broken bones, you can help yourself by following these recommendations.

Treating Tendonitis

After spending a few hours hacking away at a pile of fuelwood, your knees, elbows and wrists may feel slightly ... overextended. Of course, a little discomfort should be expected under those circumstances, but soreness could be attributed to tendinitis as much as to harmless muscle pain. So how do you tell the difference?

Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon — the cord that attaches muscle to bone. "So that is where you would feel the pain," says Robert E. Leach, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Boston University Medical Center and chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee on Sports Medicine and Sports Science. A pulled muscle, on the other hand, occurs in the “belly" of the muscle and hurts only when you stretch it. Although avoiding overexercising and overtraining by listening carefully to your body and ceasing painful activity immediately is the first step in dealing with painful muscles and joints, there are many therapeutic steps to take in the event of an injury.

Put on an ice pack 

"Ice decreases inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the injured area," says Steven F. Habusta, D.O., of Parkwood Orthopedics in Toledo. "There's no such thing as too much ice."

You can buy an ice pack made of gel, or you can make a pack by putting ice in a sealed plastic bag. Another alternative is to use a bag of frozen vegetables. Dr. Habusta suggests placing a terry cloth towel between your skin and the ice pack to prevent burns or blisters.

1/24/2009 3:46:44 PM

FISH OIL FOR TENDINITIS, Dr told my friend she had to have surgery to repair tendons and would be basically immobile for 6 months or more. I suggested that since she had not really done anything to tear the tendon that it may just be inflamed and that I would try high dose of fish oil. From barely being able to walk to no pain took less than a week.She is also hypertensive and found her blood pressure readings dropping well below her norm within a couple of weeks. I have severe neck and lower back injury and suffer far less pain when i take fish oil. Besides it makes me pretty :} well makes my skin look better at any rate.I am not a Dr. just someone with lots of aches and pains, I figure anything that increases elasticity in arteries and increases blood flow has to be a good thing for older people like me.

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