Ice. Heat. Ibuprofen. Physical therapy. Acupuncture. Electric current. Splints. Rest.
The list goes on and on, and I’ve heard them one too many times. Do they work? For some they do, but for others, like me, they only helped to a certain point, without actually curing the root of the problem. I tried 7 out of the 8 listed treatments above. Ice helped me the most when my pain was acute (when I had just gotten tendonitis). I varied the icing:1. Ice dipping: Filling the sink with water and ice, and dipping as much as my arm as possible for NO MORE than 10 seconds, every 15 minutes, for 2-3 hours, only for 2 days. My pain was so extreme that I couldn’t even put salt on my food, so this greatly relieved some of the inflammation so I could do daily activities once again. 2. Applying ice pack: It is important to put a cloth over the ice pack to prevent possibility of frostbite. Ice only 20 minutes at a time! 3. Ice massage: Place water in a small paper cup, and put in freezer. When frozen, rip off top inch of cup and massage wrist/ arm for a few seconds/ until your skin is lightly red.
Ice only helped me to a certain point. After 2 weeks, I recommend stopping; you don’t want your body to become dependent on the Ice.
Read my story on how I contracted violinists’ tendonitis at music school here
I do not recommend heat. It produced a short term “feel good moment” and did not produce long term positive effects. Electric therapy was the same for me as heat- only short term positive effects.
Splints– I recommend these only for sleeping. With splints, I learned to not sleep on top of my hands, and thus my hands stopped falling asleep at night.
Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve… They are all anti inflammatory, but did not give me any results. I don’t recommend using these for more than a week. Again, I feel that your body should not become dependent on these. But again, what may work for you may not work for me… All of this depends on how serious your injury is. Mine was pretty serious.
We all want a quick fix. I wanted a quick fix, and still do, but realize it is not possible. Even surgery or cortisone injections, which seem to be a quick fix, in many cases are not useful as the tendonitis returns (and not to mention that for a musician like me, surgery is, like, the end of your career!!).
So what works in the long run?
Time. Whether you want to hear it or not, time is necessary for the healing process. Rest from whatever caused your injury is best- either reducing it, or completely stopping (Like I had to stop violin for months since my tendonitis is so serious).
Green smoothies. (!!!) Eating healthy is crucial, and green vegetables have regenerative cell properties (Medicine actually comes from PLANTS, hint hint). Haven’t heard of green smoothies? They have helped me IMMENSELY. Check these sites out: HACRES green juice AND http://www.rawmazing.com/smoothy-thursday/ I have found these smoothies to be crucial in my diet.
Exercise. Pilates. Dance. Jogging. My wrists may hurt, but God gave me legs, too.
Positive mind. And… yes, PATIENCE. It’s hard, but thoughts are CRUCIAL! I’ve found that the more I get busy with other things, the less I think about my pain, the faster the pain goes away. Really. Your mind is sooo powerful.
Faith. Most important of all.
I hope this helps. Leave comments, suggestions, and what has helped YOU so I can learn more.