March Newsletter: Can Acupuncture Help with Tendonitis?

Tennis player experiences tendonitis pain.

Can Acupuncture Help with Tendonitis?

Are you feeling frustrated because your tendonitis pain won't go away? Acupuncture treatment could help you finally find relief from your painful symptoms.

What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis occurs when a tendon becomes irritated and inflamed. Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. They absorb shock produced when you walk, jump, or bend and make it possible to move your joints.

Runners, golfers, tennis players, weight lifters, baseball players, and other athletes are all at risk for developing tendonitis, as are people who use repetitive, awkward, or forceful motions in their jobs or hobbies. Hairstylists, chefs, construction workers, landscapers, mechanics, and assembly line workers are among the occupations that may develop tendonitis, although the condition can affect anyone.

Unfortunately, you're not safe if you work in an office either. Typing on your laptop all day could cause tendonitis in your wrists, fingers, or thumbs. Age can also be a factor in tendonitis. As you get older, your tendons stiffen and are more easily injured.

Tendonitis can affect any joint but is more common in the knee, elbow, wrist, shoulder, hip, thumb, and Achilles tendon. Symptoms of tendonitis may include:

  • Pain When Moving the Joint
  • Swelling Around the Joint
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Crackling Sound When Moving the Joint

Improving Your Symptoms with Acupuncture

Acupuncture offers an effective way to treat tendonitis no matter which tendon is affected. Treatments help by:

  • Easing Pain. Acupuncture stimulates your body's natural pain relief system. As your acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles in your skin, your body increases its production of serotonin and endorphins, two hormones that ease pain. Acupuncture offers a proven way to treat pain. According to a 2018 meta-analysis published in The Journal of Pain, acupuncture relieves chronic musculoskeletal pain, like tendonitis, and offers results that continue over time.
  • Reducing Your Need for Medication. The natural pain relief benefits of acupuncture may mean that you'll need to take less pain medication. Any pain medication, even over-the-counter drugs, can cause unpleasant symptoms. When you use acupuncture to control pain, you won't have to worry about side effects.
  • Better Sleep. Sleeping well can be a challenge when tendonitis pain strikes. Endorphins and serotonin, the same hormones that reduce pain, also produce a calming effect that can help you sleep better.
  • Decreasing Inflammation. Acupuncture treatments decrease inflammation, which can be a factor in pain and swelling. Improving inflammation reduces stiffness and helps your joints move freely. Treatments trigger your body's anti-inflammatory response, according to a study by Harvard University researchers. Your acupuncturist may also recommend Chinese herbs that can help reduce pain and inflammation and help your body recover from injuries.
  • Improving Blood Flow. Your blood carries oxygen and nutrients that help your tendons heal. Tendons don't have as many blood vessels as other parts of the body, which is why tendonitis can take months to improve. Acupuncture treatments spur blood flow, making it easier for nutrients and oxygen to reach your injured tendon. Blood also removes substances that cause inflammation, which may help speed healing. In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in 2023, researchers noted that acupuncture of the tendon and acupoint improved blood circulation to treated and non-treated tendons. The acupoint is the location where an acupuncture needle is inserted during your treatment.

Are you ready to try acupuncture for your tendonitis pain? Contact our office to schedule an appointment with the acupuncturist.


The Journal of Pain: Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis, 5/2018

The Harvard Gazette: How Acupuncture Fights Inflammation, 11/3/2021

European Journal of Applied Physiology: Effects of Acupuncture and Acupressure of the Acupoint Compared to the Tendon on the Blood Circulation of Human Tendon In Vivo, 7/15/2023

PubMed: Acupuncture for Chronic Achilles Tendinopathy: A Randomized Controlled Study, 12/19/2021

Medical News Today: What to Know About Tendinitis, 12/6/2021


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