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Nutrition and Tendonitis

January 01, 20243 min read

The Impact of Nutrition on Tendonitis

Tendonitis is then fancy term for inflammation of the tendons. Nearly everyone deals with this at some point in their life. But did you know that what you eat can play a crucial role in both healing and preventing tendonitis? In this blog post, we'll explore the connection between nutrition and tendon health, providing insights into how certain dietary choices can either alleviate or exacerbate tendonitis symptoms.

Tendonitis is often characterized by inflammation, and certain foods can either fuel or fight this inflammatory response. It's important to strike a balance between foods that promote inflammation and those that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is not bad when it's needed. We want inflammation immediately after an injury like a scrape or sprained ankle. It helps the body fend off infection and starts the healing process! This is why fewer and fewer people are recommending ice after an injury like this. (Check out this previous blog post to learn more on that topic). But we don't want this inflammation to linger for months. thats when we start to see tendonitis. That means the body was not fully equipped to complete that good and necessary initial inflammatory response.

Anti-Inflammatory Heroes:

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds, omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties. Including these in your diet may help reduce inflammation associated with tendonitis.

  2. Turmeric: This spice contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Incorporate turmeric into your meals or consider taking a curcumin supplement to support tendon health.

  3. Vitamin C: Known for its role in collagen synthesis, vitamin C is crucial for maintaining the structural integrity of tendons. Citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers are excellent sources of this essential vitamin.

  4. Bromelain: Found in pineapple, bromelain is an enzyme with anti-inflammatory effects. Enjoying fresh pineapple or taking bromelain supplements may help alleviate tendonitis symptoms.

Foods to Limit:

  1. Processed Foods: Highly processed foods often contain trans fats and refined sugars, which can contribute to inflammation. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods to minimize the inflammatory impact on your tendons.

  2. Seed Oils: Seed oils like sesame seed oil, canola oil, corn oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and soy oil are typically ultra processed and high in omega 6. This can contribute to inflammation that takes a long time for your body to process and get rid of.

  3. Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates: Diets high in sugar and refined carbs can promote inflammation. Focus on vegetables which are high in fiber and can provide sustained energy without spiking blood sugar and inflammation.

Hydration and Tendon Health

Proper hydration is often overlooked but plays a vital role in tendon health. Water helps maintain the elasticity of tendons and supports overall joint function. Aim to stay well-hydrated throughout the day, especially if you engage in physical activities that put strain on your tendons.

Incorporating a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet can be a powerful ally in managing and preventing tendonitis. By making conscious choices about the foods you consume, you can positively impact the health of your tendons and keep the small injury from becoming a long term problem. Remember, it's not just about treating symptoms; it's about nurturing your body from the inside out.

If you have been struggling with tendonitis and want help, this is one of the many topics we work though with our patient. Give us a call and we would love to help get you moving in the right direction!

inflammationtendonitisrehabphysical therapyrecoverytendonosishealingnutritionanti-inflammatory

Eric Powell PT, DPT, Cert. DN, CF-L2

Physical Therapist and Owner of Renew Physical Therapy

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