Tendinitis: Simple Tips for Avoidance

by Wendi Bayer

Tendinitis can be a real pain for musicians, writers, secretaries, and others who use their hands for extended periods of time doing what are basically repetitive motions. The following tips are things you can do at home to alleviate pain and enable you to perform the activities you need to do.

1) The Contrast Bath. When you first wake up in the morning and when you go to sleep at night, perform this simple treatment. Fill a sink with cold water (as cold as you can stand). Place your hands into the water as it is filling. Leave your hands in the cold for one minute. Also, if you can, place your forearms into the sink, one at a time, all the way up to the elbow and let it soak for a while. Then, empty the sink and refill it with pleasantly warm water. Soak for a minute. Then, once again with cold water. You can continue the cold-hot sequence as long as you can tolerate but always start with cold and end with cold.

2) Icing. Do this after vigorous hand activity or during the activity if you feel a bit of pain. Take an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables if you don't have an ice pack) and place it on your hands, one at a time as needed. If the ice pack is too cold, wrap it in a tea towel. Keep the ice on your hands for several minutes.

In addition, you should consider seeing a good massage therapist or physiotherapist. Get your doctor to recommend a good one.

For two years, Ronin could play neither the piano nor the guitar for more than a few minutes without pain. He had given up. Then, after months of massage therapy and use of the above remedies, he was eventually able to build up his strength again. I was helping out during his recent Internet broadcast and I saw him play the piano at least four hours a day. He still does the icing religiously after every practice session. I think he's afraid that the pain will come back if he doesn't. I hope the above advice works as well for you as it did for Ronin.

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