Pain in your tendons—the fibrous matter that connects muscle to bone—is usually caused by a condition called tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendon. Injury or overuse leads to tendinitis, and the condition is most common in the shoulder, wrist, heel and elbow. Depending on the location of the pain, the condition can also be called tennis elbow, swimmer's shoulder or jumper's knee. Symptoms are aching pain and tenderness, aggravated by movement. Tendinitis is usually treated with rest and medication, but you can also try herbal remedies. Such remedies involve naturopathic medicine, which promotes a holistic approach to health with minimal use of surgeries and drugs. Consult your physician before attempting naturopathic remedies at home.
Tendon-Soothing Herbal Tea
Mix 1 tsp. burdock root into 1 cup water and bring it to a boil to make an anti-inflammatory herbal tea. Tea made from this herb is believed to promote healing by improving circulation.
Lower heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes.
Drink a cup of the burdock tea three times a day.
Pain-Relieving Topical Treatment
Dip a cotton cloth in 2 oz. of cold-pressed wheat germ oil.
Massage the oil into the affected areas of the body right before bedtime, then cover the area with a linen cloth to keep the oil in contact with your skin overnight.
Repeat the treatment daily for maximum relief.
Grind a handful of fenugreek seeds and combine them with enough milk to make a paste for an alternate herbal topical treatment. Apply the paste daily, massaging it over the affected area.
Herbal Supplements for Tendon Pain
Take two 500 mg capsules of evening primrose oil three times a day. According to the Herbs 2000 website, your body's own inflammation-fighting substances, prostaglandins, are formed with the use of an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA. Evening primrose oil, rich in GLA, is a good supplementary source of this essential fatty acid.
Take 250 mg of bromelain twice a day. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, bromelain, which comes from pineapples, has anti-inflammatory properties.
Take 500 mg of glucosamine three times a day for four months. Glucosamine is believed to have anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties.
Never undertake an herbal regimen before discussing it with your doctor; herbs can have side effects and can interfere with prescription medications. For more information on the side effects of herbs, visit the National Library of Medicine website.
If symptoms of tendinitis persist and interfere with your day-to-day activities for more than a few days, consult your doctor.
Carol Sarao is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose articles have appeared in Atlantic City Weekly, The Women's Newspaper of Princeton, and New Millennium Writings. She has interviewed and reviewed many national recording acts, among them Everclear, Live, and Alice Cooper, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Warren Wilson College.