Before I had even heard the word, “Fibromyalgia”, I was blissfully unaware how pain can be magnified in certain joints.
I went to see an Orthopedist and he proceeded to bend my hand backwards — OUCH,..ok, that hurt. He suggested the pain can be “tendonitis”. At this point in my life, I knew I was living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after having the viral onset of mononucleosis. I was baffled by this new ailment not being aware that I was entering into the world of Fibromyalgia.
Before I had received a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, I didn’t pay much attention to how my body operates— muscles, ligaments, tendons—the connective tissues that keep us moving. Now they were all rebelling! Living with Fibromyalgia, is filled with surprises. A new ailment can surface without warning.
“itis” means inflammation of, Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon, sometimes spelled, Tendinitis.
It is an overuse injury of the ropelike structure that connects our muscles to our bones. It occurs most commonly in those muscles that cross two joints.
The pain can be the common tennis elbow, in which the forearm muscle crosses both the elbow and the wrist, or a calf muscle, in which the muscle crosses both the knee and the ankle joint, resulting in Achilles tendonitis. In the past, I have also had “tennis elbow”, though I do not play tennis!
The symptoms of tendonitis include pain at the site of the tendon and surrounding area which may gradually build up or be sudden and severe, especially if calcium deposits are present. You may also experience loss of motion in the shoulder, called “adhesive capsulitis” or frozen shoulder.
So what to do?
Initial treatment for tendinitis includes:
- Avoiding activities that aggravate the problem
- Resting the injured area
- Icing the area the day of the injury (I, personally, do not tolerate ice)
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs or using topical anti-inflammatory gels
If the condition does not improve in a week, see your doctor. You may need more advanced treatments, including:
- Corticosteroid injections. Corticosteroids (often called simply “steroids”) are often used because they work quickly to decrease the inflammation and pain.
- Physical therapy. This can be very beneficial, especially for a “frozen shoulder.” Physical therapy includes range-of-motion exercises and splinting.
- Surgery. This is only rarely needed for severe problems not responding to other treatments.
WebMD posts – “The biggest risk with NSAIDs is severe and sometimes fatal gastrointestinal bleeding. NSAIDs can trigger an increase in stomach acid and, at the same time, reduce the stomach’s normal protective mucus layer. In some patients, these widely used drugs can also make high blood pressure worse. They can cause reversible damage to the kidneys in people over 60; those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or pre-existing kidney disease; and people taking water pills.”
What I find works is a hot Epsom salt bath. The body absorbs the magnesium into the muscles and is so relaxing. Massage is also wonderful! I cannot tolerate any cold on my skin, so opt for heat whenever I have pain.
I am experiencing pain in my thumb area now and wondered why—here is what I was doing to cause the strain:
I take my laptop into bed at night. I don’t use a mouse, but use the touchpad. I was putting my thumb under the computer as I would “click” the computer, which put a strain on the tendon of the thumb. Sometimes, we may not be aware of our movements. Now that I know how I caused the flare-up, I am more aware how not to use my computer at night.
***I also supplement with a product that is a balanced blend of MSM, Spirulina, Camu Camu, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Cayenne, Organic afa blue-green algae, Phycocyanin (extract from AFA), Crystalloid Electrolyte Sea Minerals (Organic Copper, Iodine, Manganese, Zinc, Potassium, Cobalt, Sodium, Selenium, Chromium, Silica and Boron).
The Algae, my favorite whole food, has the omega 3’s that have been shown to assist in the control of pain.
I also look forward to my weekly Yoga class. Stretching out the muscles and connective tissues helps very much with relieving the pain. I may enter the room feeling pain, but leave with a sense of relief. Correcting my posture plays a big role in how I feel. I always joke that I leave my class taller than when I arrived.
Have you had experience with Tendonitis? What worked for you?
***Image: “Hand Pain From Mouse” courtesy of sixninepixels /FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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To read more about my journey living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia – click here.