Tendonitis Remedies

November 4, 2013 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

A reader asks: “I’ve had recurrent bouts of tendonitis in my elbow and shoulder. When I go to see my doctor about it, he usually recommends Advil or Aleve to manage the pain and swelling. But, I don’t like to take these types of drugs. Are there are any natural remedies that I can use to reduce tendon pain and speed the recovery process?”.

Tendinitis or tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that affects one or more tendons, tissues that connect muscles to bones, in various sites throughout the body including the elbows, knees, shoulders and wrists. Conventional treatment of tendonitis frequently involves the use of anti-inflammatory medications and/or physical therapy. Complementary and preventive approaches include acupuncture, addressing repetitive motions that may contribute to the irritation and the topical application of natural remedies such as DMSO (dimethyl sulfide) – an analgesic solvent derived from the wood pulp.

Several studies have documented a potential role for dietary supplements as complementary agents in the treatment of tendonitis. In general, the supplements in question have included two classes of ingredients: a) those that support the structure of connective tissue in general and tendons specifically; b) natural anti-inflammatory agents. Amino acids (arginine), collagen-based ingredients and organosulfur compounds (MSM) have been found to assist with the repair of damaged tendons in trials involving patients with Achilles tendinopathy and rotator cuff tears. Specially-coated digestive enzymes (bromelain and Phlogenzym aka Wobenzym) and natural extracts from fruits (apples, grapes) and turmeric may reduce systemic inflammation and, thereby, improve flexibility and functioning. The aforementioned dietary supplements are typically recommended as adjuncts to alternative or conventional therapies. However, because tendonitis isn’t a dangerous or life threatening condition, some practitioners will recommended natural approaches i.e. dietary changes and supplements prior to considering corticosteroids or pain relieving medications which often carry a higher risk of side effects.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - Arginine L-Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Methylsulfonylmethane, Hydrolyzed (link)

Study 2 - SWAAT Study: Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy and Arginine (link)

Study 3 – Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Catabolic Effects of TENDOACTIVE … (link)

Study 4 - Naturopathic Treatment of Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Among Canadian … (link)

Study 5 - Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy: Is There a Role for Polyunsaturated Fatty (link)

Study 6 – Bromelain in the Early Phase of Healing in Acute Crush Achilles Tendon … (link)

Study 7 - Placebo-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial on the ... (link)

Study 8 - Efficacy and Tolerance of an Oral Enzyme Combination in Painful (link)

Study 9 - Curcumin Modulates Nuclear Factor KappaB (NF-kappaB)-Mediated (link)

Study 10 - Product-Evaluation Registry of Meriva®, A Curcumin-Phosphatidyl- (link)

Curcumin Extract (Meriva) Relieves Pain

Source: J Pain Res. 2013;6:201-5. (link)

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements

4 Comments to “Tendonitis Remedies”

  1. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    I’ve gotten instant relief for tendonitis of both elbow and shoulder via acupuncture. The same acupuncturist was no help for my chronic lower back stiffness. DMSO helped my knee pain.

    In the Marines I suffered a bad case of Achilles tendonitis and going barefoot was the best therapy. I could barely walk with combat boots on. The Marine brass were very suspicious when I couldn’t march but was able to outrun everyone when I ran barefoot.

    I take curcumin everyday, pain or not.

  2. Bea Says:

    I have a SI joint problem. Could the supplements mentioned help with my problem/symtoms?

  3. JP Says:

    Hi Iggy,

    Thank you. I believe the term, “What’s old is new again” applies here:


    Be well!


  4. JP Says:

    Hi Bea,

    The supplements appear to benefit the function and structure of various joints – possibly even the SI joint. Though, I couldn’t find any specific research regarding this topic. However, I did track down a few studies that may be of particular interest to you:



    Be well!


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