How do cold sprays, cold gels, ice bath, and ice packs compare when treating a tendinopathy?
Please refer to this question for a discussion of the benefits of icing. (It is essentially of unproven benefit.)
There is another more effective therapy for tendinitis: stretching.
I have personally had patients with lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) unresolved for six months that began a regimen of stretching like below and had their symptoms resolve completely within four days.
(1) Stretch the tendinitis in the direction that hurts the most. This means you have identified where the tendon needs to be more lax.
(2) Hold the stretch for OVER 20 SECONDS. This is the most important part. Most people stretch only long enough to inflame a tendinitis. You are aiming to stretch the fibers.
(3) Repeat multiple times a day. (We often said in medicine, every time a commercial comes on TV is a good reminder.)