Physical Therapy Exercises for Patients With Tendinitis

Page content

Could it be Tendinitis?

Tendinitis is a condition that affects individuals of all ages and lifestyles, but it seems to plague those over the age of 40 most often. Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon, and it can be extremely painful. Tendinitis can affect multiple tendons in the body. It can be caused by injury or overuse. It is most commonly found in the shoulders, knees, elbows and ankles. The treatment for tendinitis can include rest or even surgery; however, physical therapy exercises for tendinitis can also be helpful.

Elbow Tendinitis

The forearm is the key in elbow tendinitis. In order to support the joint at the elbow, the forearm must be strong. Begin this exercise with a very light free weight. Using a chair that has arms on it, sit with palms facing up and arms resting on the chair arm. Slowly curl the wrist upward with the free weight, holding for a two-count at the top, and then releasing slowly. This should be done in repetitions of approximately 20. This process should be repeated with the palm of the hand facing downward on the arm of the chair, bending back the wrist, holding for a two-count and releasing. Again, this should be repeated 20 times.

Shoulder Tendinitis (Rotator Cuff)

This exercise is to help shoulder tendinitis and can be done either sitting or standing. It should be done without free weights, at the start. After the exercise becomes familiar, and as it becomes easier, add weights slowly. With arms at your sides, raise them slowly until they are at shoulder level. This process should take approximately 8 seconds. Bring the arm down just as slowly, and repeat for a repetition of 20. Follow the same process with your arm in front of you.

Knee Tendinitis

For this exercise you will want to start without using weights and then, as it becomes easier, add ankle weights. From a sitting position in a chair, raise your leg in front of you until it is parallel with the floor. Once in this position, you will need to flex the foot, hold for a two-count, and then slowly move the foot back to the floor. Continue this process until the leg becomes tired.

Ankle Tendinitis

This exercise should be started without the use of weight and should be modified to add weight, once you have become used to the exercise and your ankle is stronger. Sitting in a chair lift, your leg to a 45 degree angle, and then flex your foot, slowly moving the toes toward your body as much as possible for a two-count. This should be repeated until the leg becomes tired. Repeat this process, but instead of flexing the foot toward you, point the toe for a two-count.

Preventing Re-injury

Coming back from tendinitis can be a long process,which requires diligence and the drive to get it done. After you have recovered, you will want to continue exercises to stretch the vital muscles and tendons, to prevent or discourage future injury. If you believe that you have tendinitis, it is important to seek a professional opinion and assessment of your treatment.


Mayo Clinic: Health -

Memorial Medical Group: SMIEd -

Hughston Health Alert: Articles -