Tendonitis & Bursitis
Bursa are located near major joints between bone, muscle, and tendons. They are slippery fluid filled sacs that provide glide to prevent friction between the tendons, muscles, and bones. Bursitis is inflammation of a the bursa sac that cushions the tendons. Not all tendons have a bursa – just the tendons at joints with bony prominences such as the shoulder, hip, and knee cap.
Is it Tendinitis or Bursitis?
Tendinitis and bursitis are known by many names depending on the body part affected. Achilles tendinitis affects the tendon of the heel, causing heel pain. Tennis elbow and golfers elbow are types of tendinitis of the elbow joint. Trochanteric bursitis is inflammation of the bursa of the hip joint often referred to as bursitis of the hip.
Since tendons and bursa exist in such close proximity, tendinitis and bursitis can occur simultaneously. For example, many people are diagnosed with shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis which means they have shoulder pain due to an inflamed tendon coupled with an inflamed bursa.
Tendinitis and Bursitis Causes
Tendonitis and bursitis are due to overuse in the majority of cases. Sports activities involving the affected joints such as tennis which can cause tennis elbow or repetitive movements at work such as using a computer can cause tendonitis and bursitis. Sometimes bursitis and tendonitis are due to impact injuries or strains from extreme muscle pulls. In the elderly, they are due to loss of elasticity of the soft tissue in and around the joints, or prolonged pressure due to sedentary lifestyle.
Tendinitis and Bursitis Treatment
Treatment begins with relieving inflammation. In conjunction with acupuncture treatments, the following basic steps should be taken:
Rest and Protect the Joint – Activities that are irritating to the joint must be modified or eliminated. This may mean taking a break from a favorite activity for a period of time. Rest is a necessary step to allow the inflammation to subside.
Apply an Ice Pack – Icing will help control the inflammation and decrease swelling and scar tissue formation.
Take Anti-Inflammatory Medications – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can help reduce inflammation and ease pain. Use anti-inflammatory medications under the direction of your physician.
Cortisone Injections – If the symptoms of tendonitis or bursitis are persistent, your doctor may recommend an injection of cortisone. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication that must be used sparingly. Acupuncture often eliminates the need for cortisone shots and should be considered as a preliminary treatment.
How Does Acupuncture Work for Tendonitis
Tendonitis and bursitis can impact daily activities. Many people find they can no longer do the activities they once enjoyed. For some, pain from bursitis or tendinitis interferes with daily activities such as climbing stairs. Bursitis pain can become so severe that rolling over in bed is painful enough to wake them up.
Acupuncture provides pain relief for even the most stubborn bursitis and tendinitis pain. Treatment schedule for joint pain is similar in frequency to physical therapy. A round of treatment is usually 6 weeks for complete resolution of pain.
The sooner you get treated, the less acupuncture treatments you will need. So don’t delay, call for an appointment today and get back to doing the things you love!