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Tendinitis is painful inflammation or breakdown of your tendons. It may also be called tendinopathy. Tendinitis often occurs in the knee, shoulder, ankle, hip, or elbow.



  • Pain medicines such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs may decrease swelling and pain or fever. These medicines are available without a doctor's order. Ask which medicine to take. Ask how much to take and when to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen and NSAIDs can cause liver or kidney damage if not taken correctly. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using these medicine.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


  • Rest your tendon as directed to help it heal. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop putting weight on your affected area.
  • Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes every hour or as directed.
  • Support devices such as a cane, splint, shoe insert, or brace may help reduce your pain.
  • Physical therapy may be ordered by your healthcare provider. This may be used to teach you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. You may also learn how to improve your posture, and how to lift or exercise correctly.


  • Stretch and warm up before you exercise.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles around your joint. Ease into an exercise routine for the first 3 weeks to prevent another injury. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Rest fully between activities.
  • Use the right equipment for sports and exercise. Wear braces or tape around weak joints as directed.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have increased pain even after you take medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have increased redness over the joint, or swelling in the joint.
  • You suddenly cannot move your joint.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.