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Repetitive Motion Injuries (cont.)

Repetitive Motion Injuries Treatment

  • Tendinitis is best treated with immobilization and ice during the early phase and moist heat during the long-term phase.
  • Bands placed around the elbow may be used for tennis elbow and golfer's elbow.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen), may be prescribed to reduce the inflammation. All NSAIDs should be taken with meals to avoid stomach upset.
  • If your tendinitis or bursitis is not improved by NSAIDs, the doctor may choose to inject steroids into the surrounding area of inflammation. As a rule, you should not have more than three injections into the same area within a 12-month period.
  • You should begin graduated range-of-motion exercise once your symptoms begin to improve.
  • An exception to this type of treatment is shoulder involvement.
    • The shoulder should not be immobilized for more than 24-48 hours in order to minimize frozen shoulder, called adhesive capsulitis.
    • You should have physical therapy in addition to ultrasound and warm water baths.
    • The goal in treatment of shoulder tendinitis is first and foremost to maintain full range of motion of the shoulder joint, and relieving the symptoms is secondary.
  • The treatment of inflammatory bursitis is similar to that of tendinitis.
  • Rest, ice, and elevate your arm or leg.
  • Alternative treatments include pain-killing creams, capsaicin cream (an over-the-counter pain relief cream made from an ingredient of cayenne pepper), and steroid medications if you are able to take them.
  • If your bursitis is caused by an infection, treatment will include the appropriate antibiotics.
  • Steroid injection may be used but only for inflammatory bursitis. Steroid injections should be avoided in infectious bursitis because they may increase the body's susceptibility to infection.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2014
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