Bursitis and tendonitis

Bursitis and tendonitis are among the most common neuro-musculoskeletal conditions in the population. Workers using mainly computers or performing repetitive movements are most at risk of developing these pathologies.


A purse is a malleable bag , filled with liquid, which serves as a cushion between 2 musculoskeletal structures, for example between 2 tendons, between a tendon and the skin or between a bone and a soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia). There are scholarships on the shoulders, hips, knees, elbows, heels, etc. Bursitis is an inflammation of the purse.
The main causes of bursitis are:

  • Direct injury on the stock market (eg a stroke)
  • overuse
  • Prolonged pressure on the stock market (Ex: long kneeling)
  • Unusual exercise of articulation
  • Arthritis
  • Bad preparation for sport

Bursitis is manifested by pain and swelling. This pain is increased by movement and usually develops in the days following the injury. The most common bursites are:

  • Olecranon bursitis : Located at the elbow, it is often characterized by redness and swelling of the affected elbow.
  • Subacromial and subdetroid bursitis : Pain located on the top of the shoulder, movement is very limited.
  • Pre-Patellar Bursitis : Located in the patella, the pre-patellar pouch may ignite after prolonged kneeling or squatting posture. It does not present a redness and significant swelling of the knee.


The tendon is a fibrous tissue that attaches each end of the muscle to the bone. It allows to transmit the movement produced by the contraction of the muscle to the joint. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon or superficial layer that covers the tendon. Tendinitis is due to tendon microductures.
The main causes of tendinitis:

  • Sudden contraction of the muscle
  • Bad work ergonomics
  • Overuse of the muscle (Ex: overtraining)
  • Bad biomechanics of the adjacent joint
  • Bad preparation or technique in a sport or activity

Tendinitis does not manifest pain and decreased range of motion of the affected joint. The pain increases with the contraction of the muscle and with the active movement of the joint.

The most common tendonitis are:

  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow): Painful point at the lateral part of the elbow. The pain is increased by taking hold of the object and extending the wrist.
  • Tendinitis of the biceps: Pain in the front and upper part of the shoulder. It results from the inflammation of the superficial layer that covers the tendon of the biceps.
  • Tendinitis of the rotator cuff: Pain located at the upper and outer part of the shoulder.
  • Frozen shoulder: Very important pain accompanied by a significant and gradual decrease of the movements of the shoulder.

Long-term consequences of bursitis and / or tendinitis

In the long term, the persistence or non-treatment of these conditions can lead to chronic pain, stiffness and even a limitation of joint mobility. Finally, in the case of tendinitis, the tendon may break, requiring a long and difficult rehabilitation.

The chiropractic approach

With his doctor training, the chiropractor is able to accurately diagnose whether you have bursitis or tendinitis. It is able to define whether your pain is a case that can be improved by a chiropractic care program or if you need to be referred to another health professional. If the cause of your pain is neuro-musculoskeletal, your chiropractor is able to help you.

Through various techniques of manual therapies, the chiropractic approach will aim to reduce pain and restore mobility to the affected joint. By addressing the problem of bursitis or tendinitis with a global approach, the chiropractor makes sure to reduce the pain, restore the biomechanics of the area and prevent the recurrence of painful episodes. The chiropractor will also promote muscle relaxation through muscle work and soft tissue. Finally, your doctor in chiropractic will be able to recommend the application of heat or cold and offer ergonomic recommendations.

Source: ACQ – Association of Chiropractors of Quebec – ACQ

About the author