Acupuncture For Tendonitis: Does It Really Work?


Tendonitis is one of those chronic musculoskeletal disorders that can make everyday activities a challenge. Like arthritis and bursitis, tendonitis is often the result of overuse and can develop in any tendon in the body. Repetitive motions, like hitting a tennis racket or lifting heavy weights can contribute to tendonitis, among other things. If you’re struggling to cope with tendonitis, and you’re looking for a natural solution to the pain, you may be wondering, does acupuncture for tendonitis really work?

Acupuncture is an ideal holistic treatment option for tendonitis as it promotes relaxation and healing. Acupuncture reduces inflammation, improving strength, flexibility, and range of motion in tendonitis patients. 

What is tendonitis?

Tendonitis is a condition in which tendons become irritated. Tendons are the thick cord-like bands that connect muscles to bone. When tendons become inflamed, either due to a repetitive stress injury or trauma, it can lead to significant pain, stiffness, and swelling. Tendonitis can greatly impede a person’s range of motion and flexibility, and the symptoms often worsen after activity. 

Although tendonitis can occur in any tendon throughout the body, this condition often affects the knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, and shoulders. That’s because these tendons are the most likely to suffer from overuse. 

Tendonitis is an incredibly common condition, affecting serious athletes as well as ordinary but active individuals. Even activities that seem totally benign, like knitting and crocheting, can contribute to tendonitis over time. This painful condition can affect anyone, regardless of activity level, and it can be a challenge to treat. 

How does acupuncture for tendonitis work?

When it comes to managing tendonitis, acupuncture can be tremendously helpful

As acupuncture needles are inserted, tiny microtraumas are created. This may sound like a bad thing, but each microscopic injury stimulates the immune system, sending a surge of blood to the surrounding tissues

This increase in blood flow has a two-pronged effect and is what makes acupuncture for tendonitis so effective. 

First, the increase in circulation brings oxygen and red blood cells to the injured tissues, giving the body all of the tools it needs to regenerate and heal the damage. Second, the improved blood flow helps the body usher pro-inflammatory byproducts away from the injury site, thereby fighting pain, swelling, and redness. 

Acupuncture has the added benefit of stimulating the release of mood-enhancing and pain-modulating neurotransmitters, including endorphins. Endorphins latch onto the opioid receptors in the brain, raising your pain threshold naturally so you can cope with your tendonitis without having to rely heavily on pain medications, which can be especially damaging to the liver over time.

When should you get acupuncture for tendonitis?

There is no wrong time to get acupuncture for tendonitis. Obviously, if you’ve recently been diagnosed, then the sooner you start acupuncture treatments, the better. But even if you’ve struggled with tendonitis pain for years, it’s not too late to reap the benefits of this all-natural, holistic treatment option.

Tendonitis is a chronic condition, but if you have tendonitis then you know, the pain waxes and wanes. Some days, you can function with very little problem. On other days, it can be difficult to accomplish the most basic tasks. 

Scheduling an acupuncture session during a tendonitis flare-up will help you manage your symptoms quickly and effectively. But routine acupuncture sessions are advisable, even if you’re not currently dealing with tendonitis pain, because regular treatments promote healing and will help stop the pain before it starts.  

How many acupuncture treatments will you need for tendonitis?

It’s not easy to say exactly how many treatments you’ll need to deal with your tendonitis symptoms. But, because tendonitis is a chronic condition, regular sessions are usually recommended. 

Your acupuncturist may encourage you to receive regular treatments during a flare-up to manage pain and inflammation. Once your symptoms subside, the frequency of your treatments can be re-evaluated. 

Depending on the underlying cause of your tendonitis, whether it’s due to a trauma, a side effect of a surgical procedure, or simply overuse, your acupuncturist may recommend additional therapies to improve your strength and range of motion. 

Massage can be used in tandem with acupuncture to enhance the treatment’s effects. Orthopedic acupuncture is helpful in cases where tendonitis is the result of repetitive stress, and corrective exercise therapy can be useful as well by training your body how to move cohesively to reduce unnecessary strain on each muscle group. 

What should you expect during your acupuncture session?

It’s normal to be nervous before your first acupuncture session, but there’s nothing to worry about. You may feel a sense of pressure as needles are inserted, but that pressure is immediately followed by a sense of release. Acupuncture allows your body to get rid of tension you don’t even realize you’re carrying. After your initial acupuncture treatment, you might be surprised by just how relaxed you feel!

To begin, your acupuncturist will ask you about your symptoms to determine the best way to treat your tendonitis. Then, needles will be inserted into various points across your body, and left in place for anywhere between 10 and 40 minutes. Once your session is over the needles will be removed, and you’ll be good to go!

Your acupuncturist may advise you to stretch following your session and engage in gentle exercises like pilates or yoga. However, in some cases, your acupuncturist may recommend that you refrain from exercise and give your tendons a chance to recover. 

Be sure to wear comfortable clothing to your acupuncture appointment. This is also a great opportunity to mention any other musculoskeletal issues you may be having, like facet joint pain, rhomboid pain, or a pinched nerve

Contact our clinic today

Still not sure if acupuncture is right for you? Contact our office today to learn more about the remarkable long-lasting benefits of acupuncture. Our amazing and knowledgeable staff is happy to address your concerns and answer any questions you may have prior to your first visit
When you book an appointment with us at Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we will work with you to create a customized holistic treatment plan that gives you real results so you can get out there and live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

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