Tendinitis occurs when the tendons, which connect your muscles to your bones, are damaged due to a repetitive stress injury. As a result, pain and swelling will occur around the joint in question, such as the elbow, shoulder, knee, or ankle.
When the injury is first sustained, you can use ice packs to reduce swelling. However, once you have begun to heal and treat the condition under the directions of a physiotherapist, you will find that applying heat pads to the affected area before and after each physio session comes with many benefits.
When your muscles and tendons are cold, they tend to contract; when they are warm, muscle and tendon fibres tend to become looser. If you've ever tried exercising without properly stretching your muscles, you'll know how uncomfortable it can feel. This is an even worse idea when you have tendinitis since the lack of flexibility places far more strain upon the affected tendons. Applying a heat pad will help loosen your muscles and tendons while facilitating stretching, so it can be a very good idea to apply a heat pack to the affected area before you go out for a walk or have a session with your physio.
In fact, studies have demonstrated that heat packs can be beneficial for increasing muscle and tendon flexibility, leading to conclusions that using them can reduce athletic injuries and help current injuries heal.
Heat therapy can also be used to decrease the amount of pain you feel. This is because the application of heat serves to soothe any nerve endings that have been irritated, thus reducing the pain signals that are sent to the brain. Additionally, many patients find the application of heat pads relaxing, and this can help take their minds off any sense of pain or discomfort.
Increased Blood Flow
Your blood vessels will expand when exposed to heat, so applying a heating pad is an ideal way to improve circulation to the affected part of your body. An increase in blood flow is beneficial when dealing with tendonitis since the blood is responsible for both carrying nutrients to the injured area and flushing away any toxins or lactic acid that may have built up during exercise. Both actions will help speed up your recovery rate.
Applying heat pads before a physiotherapy session will help get your tendons flexible, while applying them after your session can decrease any pain or discomfort while also improving recovery. If you're getting over tendinitis, heating pads can clearly be a very sensible investment.