Spring is finally here, and a couple of friends and I could hardly wait to hit the golf course to try to sink an ace or two. But at the end of 18 holes, my right elbow hurt so bad I could barely open my car door. I’ve been playing golf for years, so why does my elbow hurt so much now?
I was one of the unlucky 3 million people in the U.S. every year that experience tendonitis.
What is tendonitis?
Tendonitis is when tendons, the thick, fibrous cords that attach your muscles to your bones, become inflamed or injured. It causes pain, tenderness, swelling, or a dull aching sensation around the joint area where the tendon is located. One of the most common places tendonitis pops up is in the elbow. In fact, tendonitis is often called golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow.
Golfer’s elbow happens when the pain is found on the inside of the elbow, and tennis elbow refers to pain on the outside of the elbow. Either one can hurt a lot!
What are the symptoms of tendonitis?
The pain and stiffness from tendonitis starts in the elbow but it can radiate down into the hands or up towards the shoulder. Many people with tendonitis feel pain doing certain motions, like holding a cup, opening a door or jar, shaking hands, or writing. Sometimes raising your arm or straightening your wrist can bring on pain. Lifting any weight at all can be a trigger as well. Everyday activities like brushing your hair or getting dressed can become a pain in the elbow.
In most cases, tendonitis happens because of constant, repetitive movements. Sometimes a sudden injury can bring it on. The pain and inflammation can last for weeks, months, or even years if not treated.
Some people are at a higher risk for tendonitis than others. As we get older, our bodies lose their elasticity and are more susceptible to tearing, which is why tendonitis is more common starting around age 40.
Your occupation plays a big factor too. Work with constant repeating motions puts more stress and strain on the elbow joints. Jobs that involve typing, painting, woodworking, gardening, shoveling, sewing, or knitting result in more cases of tendonitis than jobs with more varied movements.
People who play certain sports increase their risk as well. Obviously golf and tennis, but swimming, bowling, and baseball players have the same repetitive movements that lead to tendonitis. You don’t have to be a pro athlete either; even hobbyists and weekend warriors can easily strain their elbows.
Doing nothing to treat your tendonitis increases your risk of tendon rupture, which usually requires surgery. Don’t let it come to that!
Can I do anything to support and strengthen my tendons?
Absolutely, you can. A healthy body starts with a heathy diet, and some foods are really great for supporting your tendons and muscles. Since tendons are mainly made up of collagen, foods that are rich in collagen or boost collagen production should be a regular part of your diet:
- Bone broth, one of the best sources of dietary collagen
- Poultry and eggs
- Fish like mackerel and salmon
- Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage
- Citrus fruits
It’s really important to gently stretch your muscles and tendons before a workout or activity. Make sure to warm up too, because your tendons don’t have a lot of blood flow themselves and rely on the adjoining muscles to bring that to them.
How can I treat my tendonitis naturally?
Using a supplement aimed at tendon health may be one of the best ways to strengthen all the different tendons in your body and avoid tendonitis altogether. Even if you’ve already aggravated your tendons and they are giving you grief, these natural compounds can help relieve symptoms and let your tendons heal themselves over time.
- Vitamin C
- Type 2 Collagen
is one of the top antioxidants around, but it is also required for collagen production. Remember, collagen levels drop as you get older, and since your body can’t make vitamin C, you have to get it through food or supplements. Getting enough daily vitamin C will help your body make new collagen and maintain the collagen it already has.Turmeric
is the yellow spice that has high amounts of curcumin, a compound famous for being very anti-inflammatory. It works to bring down inflammation in the body and increases antioxidant levels too. Turmeric can help calm down inflamed tissues all over the body, including tendons and ligaments.Trypsin
is a proteolytic (protein-eating) enzyme that is needed for breaking down food molecules. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help your body rebuild broken-down tissues. Studies have been done that show trypsin speeds up recovery after injuries and lowers inflammation levels.Boswellia
is a resin extracted from trees that inhibits inflammation by suppressing leukotrienes (inflammatory molecules.) Boswellia can help reduce pain and might slow down cartilage loss.Bromelain
, an enzyme in pineapples, is a strong anti-inflammatory. It’s easily used by the body and is able to reduce pain levels and swelling caused by injury. In fact, in some studies bromelain was just as effective as prescription medications in fighting inflammation and pain.Collagen Types 1 & 2
are the main kinds of collagens found in the human body. Type 1 makes up the bulk of the collagen (90%) and that’s what your tendons are built from. Type 1 can be sourced from eggs, fish, and bone broths. Type 1 collagen helps build strong tendon tissue and helps stop that tissue from breaking down. It may help with tendon flexibility and wound healing too. The healthiest tendons are ones that are both strong and flexible.
Type 2 is usually sourced from chickens (it’s often called chicken collagen.) Type 2 is mainly used in the formation of cartilage and keeping joints moving comfortably. Healthy cartilage lets our bodies absorb the shock and stress of physical activity, which lessens the strain on our bones and tendons. Cartilage loss leads to pain in the joints, so maintaining those levels with type 2 collagen can help you stay active without having achy joints all the time.Bioperine
is a bioenhancer, meaning it works to make the nutrients and vitamins you take more easily used up by your body. It’s made from black pepper fruits and can boost nutrient absorption by 30 percent. Curcumin especially needs black pepper to be fully absorbed. Bioperine lets you get more bang for your buck out of the supplements you take.
All these different tendon-building compounds have been combined into one supplement called Elbow Restore.
How can Elbow Restore help?
If you want to stay away from painkillers and physical therapy to relieve the symptoms of tennis and golfer’s elbow, Elbow Restore
contains all the vital ingredients that your body uses to make strong and stretchable tendons. Full of various anti-inflammatories, Elbow Restore can help reduce the pain that comes with overworked tendons. Adding hefty doses of collagen enables your body to repair and rebuild its tendons, plus good collagen levels can give you more youthful skin and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
Preventing tendonitis is possible. Remember to stretch and warm up, use better ergonomics at work, try to avoid repetitive movements, and add a collagen-boosting, tendon-building supplement like Elbow Restore to help keep you active and nimble without pain. Your elbows will thank you!