Supplements to Heal Tendinitis

Fish oil supplement capsules isolated on white background
Omega-3 supplements can help reduce inflammation involved with tendinitis. (Image: obewon/iStock/Getty Images)

Tendinitis involves painful inflammation of a tendon and its ligaments, commonly in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle or hip area. Tendinitis may result from repetitive movements or appear suddenly, a condition known as acute tendinitis. Medications, icing the tendon after use, and alternative therapies such as massage may help relieve symptoms of pain, swelling and redness. Nutritional supplements may also prevent or reduce tendinitis symptoms. Seek your doctor's approval before using supplements.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that must be obtained through diet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), 250mg to 500mg of vitamin C, taken two times daily, may aid in healing tendinitis, improving immune function and reducing painful inflammation caused by the condition. In addition to supplementation, foods such as citrus fruits, citrus juices, tomatoes, kiwi, red bell peppers, potatoes, broccoli and papaya provide valuable amounts of vitamin C.

Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium--the most prevalent mineral in the body--aids in bone health, muscle contraction, secretion of enzymes and hormones. It also supports blood vessel health. Magnesium is the fourth-most abundant mineral in the body, found predominantly in bones, organs and body tissues. Magnesium aids in muscle and nerve function, helps regulate a healthy heartbeat, supports a healthy immune system and contributes to bone strength. The UMMC recommends 1,500mg per day of calcium, along with 750mg per day of magnesium as a helpful tool toward repairing connective tissues and muscles in people with tendinitis. In addition to supplementation, dairy products, salmon and fortified breads and cereals provide valuable amounts of calcium. Valuable food sources of magnesium include halibut, almonds, cashews, soybeans, spinach, potatoes and fortified breads and cereals. Keep in mind that vitamin D is required for proper calcium absorption. Vitamin D is created in the body in response to sun exposure and is prevalent in milk, eggs, cheese, cod liver oil and fortified breads and cereals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats the body must acquire through diet. Omega-3 fats promote heart health, reduce risk of irregular heartbeat (arrythmias) and are known to reduce inflammation associated with tendinitis. The American Heart Association recommends at least 6 oz. fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel, weekly as a means of reaping benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and improving overall health. The equivalent amount, 7g to 11g per week, can be reaped from omega-3 supplements. Most omega-3 supplements come in the form of fish oil and provide 1,000mg (1g) per serving. Usual dosage involves one capsule, twice daily. Omega-3 supplements can interact with other medications. For best results, seek approval and guidance from your doctor before incorporating omega-3 supplements into your dietary lifestyle.

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