Tendonitis rates are on the rise.
People are living longer, and that means more time to play sports, sit at desks, and do all the things that cause tendonitis.
Combine that with an inflammatory diet, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a repetitive use injury.
Although tendonitis is most common in elderly populations, people of all ages can be at risk.
Fortunately, there are several effective natural remedies for tendonitis, including:
Let’s take a closer look at how these nutrients can reduce inflammation, fight pain, and heal damaged tendons.
Tendonitis is a type of painful inflammation of the tendons: the chord-like body parts that connect muscle to bone. It’s typically caused by wear and tear from repeating the same motion hundreds of times over.
People over the age of 40 are the most at risk, but other causes include:
Especially in older individuals, a single trip or fall might be all it takes to ignite symptoms.
Depending on the cause, tendonitis can develop almost anywhere, but it’s most common in the elbows, knees, wrists, shoulders (rotator cuff), hands, hips, and heels.
Common signs and symptoms of tendonitis include:
Treating tendonitis naturally means reducing inflammation and promoting healing with the right foods and supplements.
Here’s how to reverse tendonitis with nutrition:
Once a nasty case of tendonitis sets in, it’s easy to make it worse by eating foods that unintentionally promote inflammation.
The first step to reducing pain is to stop aggravating your body with harmful foods. That means following a diet that strengthens the gut lining and protects the bloodstream from inflammatory agents.
At the same time, it’s important to eat foods that promote circulation to get much-needed blood flow to damaged tendons.
Pro-inflammatory foods to avoid include:
Other foods, however, are anti-inflammatory powerhouses, and those are the ones that you’ll want to eat up.
Here are some of the best foods for tendonitis:
Now that you have a broad idea of how to keep inflammation at bay with nutrition, it’s time to take an in-depth look at some of the best nutrients for tendonitis recovery.
Bromelain is a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient that’s extracted from the stems of pineapples.
It’s also found in smaller quantities in the pineapple fruit itself.
Studies show that bromelain may treat a variety of inflammatory illnesses, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and tendon injuries.
In a 2012 rodent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, rats with crush injuries to the Achilles tendon were separated into groups and treated with either supplemental bromelain, fresh pineapple juice, or nothing at all.
Both the bromelain and pineapple groups showed a significant increase in tenocytes (the cells that form mature tendons), but the bromelain group performed better overall.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are popular ingredients in joint pain supplements because of their ability to repair damaged tissue and promote pain relieving effects. They do this by supporting collagen production and speeding the formation of tendon and ligament cells.
Authors of a study published in the journal Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine found that, “Low dose combinations of glcN (glucosamine) and CS (chondroitin sulfate) effectively stimulate in vitro collagen and NCP synthesis by ligament cells, tenocytes and chondrocytes.”
As a result, researchers believe that these supplements may be a useful adjunct treatment for sports-related tendon injuries.
The amino acid L-arginine is one of the best supplements to take after a workout, and here’s why:
It’s well-known that endogenous nitric oxide (NO) plays a key role in repairing damaged tendons, and studies show that L-arginine can increase nitric oxide levels.
A 2013 study in the journal Cell and Tissue Research found that rats injected with L-arginine showed increased NO activity and significantly improved tendon repair.
Curcumin is one of the best natural remedies for inflammation, and research demonstrates that it can help injured tendons heal.
In a landmark 2011 study, researchers proved for the first time that curcumin can effectively promote the production of human tenocytes in vitro.
Similarly, a 2016 rodent study found that, “Curcumin can improve the quality of tendon rupture healing and thus represents a promising strategy in the management of injured tendon tissue.”
By taking the right supplements, eating the right foods, and avoiding the inflammatory ones, you may have a better chance at treating tendonitis without steroid injections, prescription anti-inflammatory medications, or a ton of physical therapy.
However, it’s always best to consult your physician for medical advice before forgoing conventional treatments altogether.