How to Relieve Tendonitis in Your Hand

Posted on 
April 18, 2024

Tendinitis in the hand is a condition that doesn't just bring discomfort; it interferes with your daily life, transforming normal, everyday tasks into daunting challenges. The inflammation or irritation of the tendons disrupts the harmony between muscles and bones, leading to a number of symptoms, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain. The condition is often a result of overuse, repetitive strain, or injury, and calls for an understanding of the varied approaches to relief and recovery. In this article, we'll discuss each facet of hand tendinitis from its roots to its treatments, aiming to restore not just function, but also the quality of life for those who are affected by this condition.

What is Hand Tendinitis?

Hand tendinitis, a condition that causes pain and stiffness, is caused by the inflammation or irritation of tendons. These fibrous bands, bridging muscles to bones, become worn due to acute injury or the inevitable wear and tear of aging. The condition can create various symptoms such as pain, swelling and a reduction in hand mobility. This can complicate everyday activities from typing to turning a door knob.

Causes Of Hand Tendinitis

Hand tendinitis is usually the result of various factors that each contribute to the strain and stress on the tendons. Recognizing these underlying causes is instrumental in creating preventive measures and reducing the risk of tendinitis:

  • Repetitive Movements - Tasks that involve continuous hand or wrist movements can strain tendons, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Overuse - Exceeding the usual workload or duration of hand-intensive activities without adequate rest can bring on tendinitis.
  • Injuries - Sudden impacts or unnatural movements can directly damage the tendons, causing your body to produce an inflammatory response.
  • Aging - With age, tendons lose some of their elasticity and resilience, making them more susceptible to inflammation and injury.

Symptoms Of Hand Tendinitis

The symptoms of hand tendinitis are telltale signs that warrant attention and action. Early recognition of these symptoms can significantly streamline the path to effective treatment and recovery:

  • Pain- The hands may experience pain from a dull ache to sharp stabs, particularly when engaging the affected tendons.
  • Swelling - The area around a troubled tendon might swell, becoming tender and sensitive to the touch.
  • Stiffness - A noticeable stiffness can limit the smooth movement of fingers or the wrist, especially after periods of inactivity.
  • Warmth and Redness - The skin in the affected area might feel unusually warm or display a reddish color, signaling inflammation underneath.

Strategies for Relief

Alleviating the discomfort and restrictions of hand tendinitis involves a holistic approach, blending rest, therapeutic exercises and, when necessary, medical intervention.

  • Rest - Rest isn't merely a passive response, but an active component of healing. Avoiding activities that increase tendinitis and immobilizing the hand with a splint or brace can dramatically reduce inflammation and shield the tendons from further harm.
  • Cold Therapy - Cold therapy, through the application of ice packs. It reduces swelling and provides a reprieve from pain. This simple yet effective measure is an important part of initial tendinitis management.
  • The Use of Anti-Inflammatory Medications – Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, can be powerful allies in reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. Their use, guided by health care advice, can complement other types of treatment effectively.
  • Cortisone Injections - Cortisone shots are administered directly into the affected region as a powerful anti-inflammatory remedy. These injections can provide prolonged pain relief when compared to conventional oral anti-inflammatory drugs. While generally safe, frequent use of this treatment may lead to weakening of the tendon.
  • Physical Therapy -Engaging in guided stretching and strengthening exercises can strengthen the hand and wrist, improving flexibility and resilience. This approach not only aids in recovery but also strengthens the hands against future injuries.
  • Ergonomic Adjustments - Ergonomic modifications to workspaces and tools can significantly reduce strain on the hands and lessen the risk of aggravated tendinitis. Simple changes in routines and posture can yield profound benefits in comfort and functionality.
  • Medical Treatments- For cases where conventional strategies don't work, surgical treatments may be indicated. These interventions aim to directly address the underlying inflammation, offering relief and restoring hand function.
  • Alternative Therapies - Alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage and ultrasound can offer relief for some individuals. These treatments can enhance circulation, diminish pain and expedite the healing process, complementing traditional treatment approaches.


Hand tendinitis with its capacity to disrupt one's daily life demands a comprehensive approach to management. By understanding the causes of tendinitis and using the strategies outlined in this article, individuals can be empowered to reclaim their daily routines and enjoy a life without pain. With patience, perseverance, and a proactive approach, moving from discomfort to recovery can become not just conceivable, but achievable.

Where to Go for Diagnosis and Treatment

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics provides specialized orthopedic urgent care for recent injuries, offering immediate access to expert treatment and personalized plans. With locations in Carmel, Noblesville, Tipton and Greenwood, we offer same-day services, expanded hours and a range of treatments. Originating nearly 40 years ago from a need for dedicated sports medicine in Indianapolis, Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics has grown into a comprehensive center catering to all ages and needs, from athletes to grandparents. Forté boasts 20 physicians and an extensive staff, providing specialized care throughout Central Indiana and to major local teams for acute injuries. Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics ensures quick, specialized attention, advising emergency room visits for severe cases.

For more information about our practice or to schedule an appointment, contact us via our website or give us a call at 317-817-1200.

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