Persistent and Painful Tendonitis or Bursitis?

Tendonitis & bursitis often go hand in hand. Inflammation of the tendon is often due to over-use or repetitive strain, hence the injury was commonly known as a repetitive strain injury or RSI. Bursitis is inflammation of the sac of fluid (bursa) that helps reduce friction between a tendon and the underlying bone.
He associated pain often starts as a little niggle that go away with rest but returns immediately on returning to activity. Over a period of time the pain doesn’t disappear and can become so intense that simple activities of daily living like sleeping, walking and lifting become painful.

Tendons are fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone.  Tendons help absorb force and then transmit it, much like a spring would. They are unbelievably strong structures, designed to handle incredibly high loads.

Inflammation of the tendon or tendonitis is often due to over-use or repetitive strain, hence the injury was commonly known as a repetitive strain injury or RSI.  Overtime, microtrauma to the tendon by repetitive loading can occur, creating inflammation as the body attempts to heal. The inflammation can cause swelling, redness, restriction of movement and pain. Healing time is highly variable and longer than most people would like, however early intervention and the correct treatment can prevent a life time of suffering.

All tendons can become tendonopathic, however the most common tendons affected are:

  • Supraspinatus, however all muscles of the rotator cuff can become tendonopathic
  • Biceps
  • Achilles
  • Patella
  • Adductors
  • Gluteal muscles, generally gluteus medius
  • Hamstrings
  • Extensors carpi radialis brevis (or tennis elbow)
  • Tibialis posterior

A bursa is a fluid filled sac that allows for fluid movement and decreased friction between surfaces, often found where a tendon or muscle glide over a bone. Bursitis is inflammation of this fluid filled sac. Bursitis can present as a swollen, hot, red area close to a joint. It can be caused by a systemic disease, although more often it is as the results of a traumatic injury or repetitive strain.

Common bursas affected are:

  • Trochanteric (hip)
  • Subacromial (shoulder)
  • Patella (knee)
  • Olecranon (elbow)

As spoken about, these injuries can range from a dull ache to incredibly debilitating pain, making simple activities of daily living (ADL’s) like sleeping and walking painful. Getting an accurate, early diagnosis by a skilled therapist who understands these problems can help prevent the injury becoming chronic. The longer these problems are left, the longer they take to resolve.

Often treatment of these problems is more complex than just massaging the area. Luckily Osteopaths are trained to look at the body holistically and thus looking at all the contributing areas is something that comes naturally to us.  Treatment generally aims at improving the function of not only the injured structure but also addressing the other areas that may be increasing the strain on these areas.  At Sports & Spinal Albury we believe that treating the problem AND it’s underlying cause is the best way to restore healthy joint function.

What to expect in your consult?

Your initial consultation will involve a comprehensive assessment where we ascertain your relevant past history, including previous injuries and medical history, followed by a physical exam to determine not only the diagnosis but also find the root cause of your problem. This will be discussed with you and a treatment plan will be formulated to accommodate your needs.

The treatment itself will vary from individual to individual, but will often include a combination of hands on therapies, dry needling, taping, advice, exercise prescription as well as other options.


Osteopaths are covered by most Private Health insurance schemes. To be sure you are covered please consult your insurance policy. We have HICAPs facilities available for those with Private Health so you can automatically claim your treatment and only have to pay the gap.

No referral is necessary to come to our clinic.

Osteopaths like to be thorough and hence our consults tend to take half an hour on average.

It is advised that you arrive between 5 and 10 minutes prior to your initial consult as you are required to fill out a new patient and informed consent forms before treatment can commence.

Here's some helpful info from our blog:

Ready to Book Online?

Our Booking Portal is the most convenient way to lock in the location and time you want.