Bursitis & Tendonitis | Abq

Sports Chiropractic & Massage | Placitas, NM

Dr. Smith uses a number of physical therapy modalities including dry needling,  myofascial  release technique, and soft tissue mobilization to address these painful conditions.  Extremity Adjustments and Kinesio Taping can also be helpful in calming inflammation of the extremities.

Treatment of Bursitis & Tendonitis | Abq

What are These Syndromes?

Bursitis is inflammation or irritation of the bursa (small sacs between bones and other moving parts, such as skin, muscles and tendons). Tendonitis is inflammation or irritation of the tendon (thick fibrous cords that connect muscles to bone).

Symptoms of both are similar and include inflamed soft tissues, limited range of motion, and pain with movement that replicates the symptoms of joint pain.

People often mistake these painful conditions for arthritis.  With all of these, pain and stiffness often intensify with movement.  The involved area tends to be painless at rest.  Swelling associated with tendinitis is often more subtle, while bursitis can cause deformity.

Several named syndromes that you will probably recognize are types of tendonitis:

Common Causes

Common causes include injury and overuse.  These syndromes are often seen in people that have bad posture as altered bio-mechanics can put excess stress on the soft tissue structures.  Avoiding overuse and repetitive physical stress to the affected area is suggested to help with these conditions.

Medications may be used to reduce inflammation.  Natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric, ginger, bromelain or simply icing can also be helpful in reducing the pain.

A doctor of chiropractic can help alleviate the problem by correcting the underlying joint misalignment and applying physical therapy modalities to reduce inflammation.  Soft tissue based therapies such as ART, muscle scraping, and scar tissue massage also promote healing for these conditions.

Home care which should include a solid stretching routine is often more effective with the use of a massage tool to stimulate lymphatic drainage and break up scar tissue.  The Knuckleball™ is Dr. Smith’s invention and go-to tool for this type of home care. 

If you are seeking treatment for Bursitis or Tendonitis in Placitas or the surrounding areas of Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, Abq, or Santa Fe call or schedule online.

Dry Needling for Bursitis & Tendonitis

Both bursitis and tendonitis involve inflammation around joints. While the bursa is a fluid-filled sac cushioning bones and tendons, tendons connect muscle to bone. Dry needling can address both conditions by:

  • Reducing inflammation: The needles trigger a local inflammatory response, followed by a healing response that reduces overall inflammation.
  • Breaking up scar tissue: Chronic inflammation can lead to scar tissue formation, contributing to pain and stiffness. Dry needling can help break down scar tissue and improve flexibility.
  • Addressing trigger points: Trigger points near inflamed bursa or tendons can exacerbate pain. Dry needling these points can ease pain and improve range of motion.

What to Expect During a Dry Needling Session:

Dr. Smith is highly trained in Dry Needling. He’ll first assess your pain and identify trigger points. Then, he’ll insert the needles quickly, often causing a twitch response in the muscle – a sign that the trigger point is being stimulated.

The needles are left in place for 10-20 minutes, and you may feel a tingling or aching sensation. Most people report feeling some immediate relief, with continued improvement over the following days.

Is Dry Needling Right for You?

While generally safe, dry needling is not for everyone. It’s not recommended for people with certain conditions like bleeding disorders, pregnancy, or infections.

The Bottom Line:

Dry needling offers a promising, non-invasive approach to managing bursitis and tendonitis. By targeting trigger points and promoting healing, it can offer significant pain relief and improve your quality of life.


  • Dry needling is not a magic bullet. It’s often used in conjunction with other therapies like physical therapy and stretching.
  • Individual results may vary.