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Tendinitis: [carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury, tennis elbow, etc.]


What is Tendinitis?

Assessing Your Tendinitis

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


The Wrist Brace/Splint

Things That Aggravate Severe Tendinitis

Sleeping with Severe Tendinitis

Understanding Pain


Increasing Endurance

Strengthening Activities

Regular Breaks

A Case History

Things That Aggravate Severe Tendinitis

This section discusses something you'll want to consider before you begin building up your endurance, if your tendinitis is so severe that you had to stop doing the activity that caused the injury. However, you may want to read the endurance section first so that you have a better understanding of time limits and the other things described here.

It is important to keep in mind that if you have very advanced tendinitis, the gradually increasing time limit placed on the activity that caused it may represent the total daily usage of the affected limb. That means that everything else you do with this limb in the day, other than what you do in the time limit, is adding injury to your arm. If this is the situation you're in, there are some ways of getting around it. That is what is specifically discussed in this section.

I have been told by physiotherapists that if you use your arms for an hour when your current time limit is 5-10 minutes or so, you can cause a setback that could last approximately one month. This can be very debilitating. I have experienced this effect personally. If your arms aren't even ready for five minutes of activity and they also lack flexibility, and you decide to use them for an hour, the setback can be enormous. You can be doing this to yourself without feeling pain at the time. A very long walk can be devastating in this way if you are at a very early stage of the healing process.

The following is a partial list of activities that can be very aggravating to RSIs;

  • Pulling on heavy doors. If both of your arms are affected, never do anything like this with just one arm, it's much easier with two. Do as many things as possible with your feet as well. Using your foot in combination with your hands to do things like open doors will reduce the strain placed on your arms.

  • Fidgeting with your hands, rubbing your head or hair, picking at your fingernails, etc. Anything you do repetitively/constantly/frequently with your hands will impair their healing when they are at this very sensitive stage.

  • Sleeping can present problems associated with this list. These problems are discussed in the Sleeping with Severe Tendinitis section.

    Walking, with hands in pockets or dangling outside, will really aggravate arm RSIs.

    Brushing your teeth, flossing. Get an electric toothbrush and use mouthwash sometimes instead of flossing everyday.

    Writing, typing, using a mouse. Get voice activation software from chapters or Office Depot etc.


    Lying on the ground and leaning on your elbow. Very bad.

    Washing dishes. This is very strenuous on arm-based tendinitis. If you have a dishwasher than this is a great asset to you. If you don't, consider eating a lot of sandwiches until your injury improves significantly.

    Being very vigorous and pressing very hard while you; wash your hair, wash your face, apply moisturizer, dry yourself etc. Using a heavy towel to dry yourself is similarly problematic. Using a hand towel sized towel could make this much easier for you.

    Smoking. This is terrible for your circulation, which directly relates to inflammation. Also, constant hand use will aggravate the injury.

    Go backwards to The Wrist Brace/Splint
    Continue on to Sleeping with Severe Tendinitis

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    All text copyright James Gordon Ecclestone 2004