Natural Treatments For Tendonitis – Symptoms, Causes, And Diet Tips

Soothe the piercing pain with some natural ingredients in the comfort of your home.

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT
By Shaheen Naser

Tendonitis, or inflammation of your tendons, can happen due to sudden twists and falls. While ointments and painkillers can help you ease the pain, the natural treatments for tendonitis discussed in this article can provide immediate relief. Tendonitis can happen anytime during an intense workout or a sudden sprint, causing severe pain and distress! Therefore, it is important to take proper care to prevent further damage and soreness. These natural home remedies can come to your rescue until you get professional help. Read on to know more.

What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is a medical condition that develops as a result of inflammation or irritation of a tendon – a thick cord of collagen tissue that attaches your bone to your muscle. This condition is also commonly referred to as tendinitis.

It can occur as a result of a repetitive but minor impact on the affected area or from serious injury. Wondering which areas of your body are more prone to tendonitis? Let’s find out.

Common Areas Affected by Tendonitis

While tendonitis can occur in part of your body where a tendon is connecting your bone to your muscle, it is more likely to occur in the:

  • Base of your thumb
  • Elbow
  • Knee
  • Hip
  • Shoulder
  • Achilles tendon

Tendonitis is classified into different types depending on the different body parts it affects.

Types Of Tendonitis

  • Achilles Tendinitis – An injury to the Achilles tendon that may be caused by ill-fitting shoes or sports injuries.
  • Supraspinatus Tendonitis – It occurs when the tendon around your shoulder joint becomes inflamed.
  • Peroneal Tendonitis – Inflammation of the peroneal tendons (located in the legs and ankles).
  • Extensor Tendonitis – Inflammation of the extensor tendons located in your hands and feet.
  • Patellar Tendonitis – Inflammation due to an injury to the tissues connecting the kneecap to your shin bone (patellar tendon).
  • Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow – Irritation of the tissue that connects your forearm muscle to your elbow.
  • De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis – This type of tendinitis results from the inflammation of the sheath that surrounds your thumb tendons, between your thumb and wrist.
  • Trigger Finger/Thumb – It is caused by the inflammation of the tendon sheath in your palms.
  • Tendonitis Of The Wrist – It is a degenerative condition that affects the tendons of your wrist.

Inflammation of your tendon results in the signs and symptoms listed below.

Signs And Symptoms

The symptoms associated with tendinitis are:

  • Pain in the affected and surrounding area: The pain can be gradual or sudden and severe in the presence of calcium deposits.
  • Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis: Loss of shoulder motion
  • Pain that worsens upon movement
  • Crackling or grating of tendons as they move
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Development of a lump along the tendon

These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks or even months.

Various activities can trigger or even worsen existing cases of tendonitis. They include the following.

Causes And Risk Factors

  • Carpentry
  • Raking
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Shoveling
  • Skiing
  • Scrubbing
  • Tennis
  • Golf

Other factors that can increase your risk of developing tendonitis are:

  • Sitting or sleeping in an incorrect posture at home or at work
  • Not warming up before a strenuous workout or sports
  • Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or psoriatic arthritis
  • Overuse of the affected tendon
  • Infections from a cat or dog bite

If you visit a doctor for your condition, they may ask you to undergo any of the following diagnostic tests to confirm tendonitis.


To diagnose your condition, your doctor may ask you to:

  • Get a physical examination done to look for an injured tendon.
  • Get an X-ray to look for calcium deposition that will help confirm the diagnosis.
  • Take other imaging tests like an ultrasound or MRI scan to look for swelling.

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, you may start looking for ways to alleviate your symptoms. Treatment will help in combating tendonitis faster and preventing your symptoms from worsening.

Before looking at the medical options to treat your condition, why not have a look at some natural treatments for tendonitis that are as effective but with fewer side effects? Keep scrolling!

Note: The first line of treatment for acute tendonitis should be RICE. R – Rest, I – Ice, C – Compresion, E – Elevation of the joint.

Natural Treatments For Tendonitis

  1. Epsom Salt
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Ice Packs
  4. Bone Broth
  5. Cayenne Pepper
  6. Vitamin
  7. Ginger
  8. Castor Oil
  9. Turmeric

Home Remedies To Treat Tendonitis

1. Epsom Salt


You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill your bathtub with water.
  2. Add a cup of Epsom salt to it and allow it to dissolve.
  3. Soak in the Epsom salt bath for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate. The presence of magnesium helps reduce the inflammation and swelling of your tendons (1).

2. Apple Cider Vinegar


You Will Need
  • ½ cup of raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • A clean washcloth
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with half a cup of warm water.
  2. Soak a clean washcloth in this mixture, wring it and place on the affected area surrounding the tendon. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes
  3. Remove the washcloth.
  4. You can also mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink daily.
How Often You Should Do This

You can apply an apple cider vinegar compress thrice daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar has powerful anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of acetic acid in it. It can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation (2).

3. Ice Packs


You Will Need

An ice pack

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply an ice pack close to the affected tendon.
  2. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before taking it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily for best results.

Why This Works

An ice pack helps reduce symptoms of inflammation and swelling when applied topically. It also numbs the affected area and relieves pain (3).

4. Bone Broth


You Will Need

A bowl of freshly prepared bone broth

What You Have To Do

Consume a bowl of freshly prepared bone broth.

How Often You Should Do This

Have bone broth once daily.

Why This Works

Bone broth contains nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin that help in speeding the healing of your tendons (4).

5. Cayenne Pepper


You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. To a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder, add a few teaspoons of warmed olive oil.
  2. Massage this mixture gently onto the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off.
  4. You can also mix a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of water and honey and drink daily.
How Often You Should Do This

You can apply cayenne pepper topically 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

One of the main components of cayenne pepper is capsaicin. This compound exhibits analgesic activities that relieve pain and alleviate inflammation (5), (6).

6. Vitamin C


You Will Need

100-500 mg of vitamin C

What You Have To Do

Consume foods rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, spinach, and kale or take additional supplements for it after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

You must incorporate vitamin C into your daily diet.

Why This Works

Supplementation with vitamin C helps in speeding up the healing of inflamed tendons. This could be due to its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to synthesize collagen (7).

7. Ginger


You Will Need
  • 1-2 inches of ginger
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 1 to 2 inches of ginger to a cup of hot water.
  2. Allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Drink the hot ginger tea.
  4. You can also soak a cloth in the ginger tea and apply it topically to the affected area.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink ginger tea twice daily for faster recovery from tendonitis.

Why This Works

Ginger possesses powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of gingerol in it. These activities can help manage pain, inflammation, and other symptoms of tendonitis (8).

8. Castor Oil


You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of cold-compressed castor oil
  • A warm compress
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a tablespoon of cold-compressed castor oil in your palms.
  2. Massage it gently around the affected tendon.
  3. Place a warm compress over it and leave it on for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the compress and rinse the oil off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help alleviate pain and inflammation (9).

[ Read: How To Use Castor Oil To Treat Arthritis? ]

9. Turmeric


You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 glass of hot milk
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of hot milk.
  2. Mix well and drink the concoction.
  3. You can also make a paste with turmeric powder and water and apply it to the affected area.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help in healing tendonitis and alleviating its symptoms (10), (11).

In addition to these natural treatments for tendonitis, there are some medical treatments available to alleviate the symptoms of this condition. They are discussed below.

Other Treatment Methods

Your doctor will first suggest you get enough rest and may even ask you to use ice packs.

You may be prescribed painkillers like:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical therapy that may involve massaging the affected area

If your condition persists and there are also calcium deposits surrounding the tendon, you may have to avail shock wave therapy.

However, if your condition deteriorates because of leaving the affected tendon untreated for too long, causing the tendon to rupture, you may need to undergo surgery.

If you are recovering from tendonitis, you must pay extra attention to your diet as well.

Best Diet For Tendonitis

Foods To Eat

Foods that help tendonitis are mostly anti-inflammatory. They include:

  • Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, broccoli, and papaya
  • Whole grains like brown rice, spelt, oats, and rye
  • Omega-3-rich foods like fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, and chia seeds

Foods To Avoid

Avoid these foods:

  • Foods containing saturated fats like high-fat dairy and meat like lamb and steak
  • Refined grains like white bread, white pasta, pretzels, and low-fiber cereals
  • Foods containing free sugar like candies, soft drinks, and pastries
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

In addition to these diet tips, following a few prevention tips may help avert the recurrence of the condition.

Prevention Tips

  • Practice exercises that help in stretching and strengthening the muscles surrounding your tendon.
  • Warming up before and cooling down after a strenuous workout is also important to prevent tendinitis.
  • Avoid repeated use of an injured tendon.
  • Avoid being in one position for too long.
  • Give yourself ample rest so that your body works towards repairing your tendon.

Tendonitis refers to an inflammation of the tendons and may occur due to repetitive strain on the tendons, injuries, or certain medical conditions like arthritis and gout. The most commonly affected body parts are the knee, elbow, hip, shoulder, the base of the thumb, and Achilles tendon. Besides pain and discomfort, you may notice symptoms like swelling, redness, and lumps along the tendon if you have developed tendonitis. Over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications are available for treating the pain. Still, you may also choose to apply natural treatments for tendonitis as plenty of home remedies are available. Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, ice packs, bone broth, castor oil, turmeric, and cayenne pepper are some of the natural ingredients you can use to relieve pain and inflammation. If pain persists or worsens, consult your medical provider to avoid delayed treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

When to see a doctor for tendonitis?

See a doctor immediately if you experience recurring pain and/or swelling in the impacted area that does not subside despite rest or medications. This usually happens if you have ruptured your tendon.

What are the best essential oils for tendonitis?

Essential oils that are anti-inflammatory and analgesic can help a great deal in relieving tendonitis. A few such essential oils are lavender oil, peppermint oil, sweet marjoram oil, frankincense oil, helichrysum oil, lemongrass oil, and chamomile oil.

How painful is calcific tendonitis?

Calcific tendonitis is not of much concern unless the calcium deposits causing it to become inflamed or bigger. Calcium deposition mostly occurs in the muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joints. Progression of this condition may have extremely painful results, and it is even capable of impairing your movement.


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  1. Magnesium Decreases Inflammatory Cytokine Production: A Novel Innate Immunomodulatory Mechanism”, Journal of Immunology, US National Library of Medicine
  2. Anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects of synthetic acetic acid vinegar and Nipa vinegar on high-fat-diet-induced obese mice”, Scientific Reports, US National Library of Medicine
  3. Effect of local cold-pack application on systemic anabolic and inflammatory response to sprint-interval training: a prospective comparative trial”, European Journal of Applied Physiology, US National Library of Medicine
  4. Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine Supplements in Osteoarthritis”, Arthritis Foundation
  5. Topical capsaicin for pain management: therapeutic potential and mechanisms of action of the new high-concentration capsaicin 8% patch”, British Journal of Anaesthesia, US National Library of Medicine
  6. Capsaicin exhibits anti-inflammatory property by inhibiting IkB-a degradation in LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages”, Cellular Signalling, US National Library of Medicine
  7. High-dose vitamin C supplementation accelerates the Achilles tendon healing in healthy rats”, Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, US National Library of Medicine
  8. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of [6]-gingerol”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine
  9. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation”, Mediators of Inflammation, US National Library of Medicine
  10. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research”, Alternative Medicine Review, US National Library of Medicine
  11. The comparison of preemptive analgesic effects of curcumin and diclofenac”, Bratislava Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine
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Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Bharathiar University. She is a Geneticist with proficiency... more

Dr. Sudhansu Singh

Dr. Sudhansu Singh is a Physiotherapist, Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, and Neuro Physiotherapist with 8 years of experience. He is... more