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Weekly Feature: Tendon Loving Care

18 Nov 2015

In yesterday’s instalment of our special feature we looked at the causes and symptoms of tendonitis. Today, find out more of Sarah’s story and some of the actions you can take.

Upon questioning, Sarah says that she recently found a new running route so instead of following roads, she now includes a couple of circuits of the local park.

She is keen to cut her 5k time to under 30 minutes so has also embarked on a programme she found online that involves interval training, sometimes by inserting short sprints into her runs and on other occasions by running up and down steps in the park.

You tell Sarah that these changes in her exercise regime are likely to have put a strain on her Achilles tendon, and the discomfort she is experiencing is probably tendonitis.

Many cases of tendonitis are minor and will resolve in a few weeks without medical treatment. In the short-term, following the principles of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can help limit the damage.

Paracetamol is the best choice of analgesic if pain relief is needed, with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) reserved for use after the first 48-72 hours.

In some cases of tendonitis, splints, bandages or tape may be used to stabilise the joint, keep it in the correct position and provide support while healing.

What advice can you give a patient with tendonitis? Tomorrow we take a look at what you should say and when you should refer to a GP.

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