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Tendonitis and bursitis

Treating tendonitis and bursitis for long-term relief

Tendonitis and bursitis are painful inflammatory conditions that affect the soft tissues that help you move, making daily activities challenging. If you participate in sports, they can also take you out of your game. So it’s important to find the best treatment options available to help you get relief.

Tendonitis affects your tendons, which are fibrous cords that attach your muscles to your bones. Bursitis affects your bursae, which are thin, fluid-filled sacs that help cushion skin and tendons where they move over bone. Because the bursae and tendons are so close together, the conditions may go hand in hand, beginning and worsening together following frequent, repetitive movement. If left untreated, they can become chronic conditions affecting your foot, shoulder, knee, hand, elbow or hip.

At TRIA, our team of leading orthopedists, physical therapists and orthopedic specialists will help you find the most effective treatment options to get you back in the game and doing what you love.

What are the symptoms of tendonitis and bursitis?

Tendonitis and bursitis can occur in many parts of your body, sometimes in a few places at once. Pain is often worse during and after physical activity. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty moving or loss of motion
  • Redness, swelling and being warm to the touch

What causes tendonitis and bursitis?

Both bursitis and tendonitis may be brought on by frequent, repetitive movements or injury. The conditions can occur throughout your body but are most commonly found around major joints like your shoulder, knee, elbow or hip. The kinds of activities you participate in or the job you have can determine which area is affected.

For instance, if you’re an avid tennis player, prolonged pressure on your shoulder due to serving or quickly swinging your racquet may cause inflammation in your body’s bursae or stress your tendons – causing tendonitis and bursitis to develop.

Treating tendonitis and bursitis

If you’re experiencing tendonitis or bursitis, our team of orthopedists can help you. We use leading treatment options to help you find relief, including many nonsurgical options. Common treatments include:


Depending on your diagnosis, we might recommend anti-inflammatory medications, including corticosteroid injections to help with your pain and to help limit swelling, irritation or inflammation.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy uses education, targeted exercise and hands-on guidance to improve overall strength and function. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan so you can resume your normal activities as quickly as possible.

Orthotics and prosthetics

Our team provides custom fitting of orthopedic braces, orthotics and prosthetics, and other devices. We’ll work closely with you to achieve the proper fit to promote fast and effective healing.


Our orthobiologics program offers a variety of innovative services to treat tendon injuries and other common conditions. Care options include platelet rich plasma (PRP), which can reduce inflammation and enhance the body’s natural ability to heal.

Surgical treatment options

If the pain caused by tendonitis or bursitis continues despite more conservative treatment options such as physical therapy, surgery may be the most effective option.

The most common surgery for bursitis is a bursectomy, which removes the inflamed bursa to help relieve pain and promote healing. If you need tendonitis surgery, our doctors will find the best treatment option to help repair your tendon and improve its functionality, including arthroscopic and full- and partial-tear repairs. Our team treats a variety of tendonitis conditions, including tennis elbow, with effective results, and will guide you at each step.

Our Aquatic Therapy Program is just one of the ways we help patients suffering from an acute or chronic condition. It uses water’s natural therapeutic properties of resistance and warmth to help heal your joints and tendons.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

No, you can make an in-person or video visit with the specialist you choose. Or visit one of our orthopedic urgent care locations for same-day treatment. No appointment is needed.

Treating your condition will depend on several factors, including where you are injured and the severity of your pain. Good guidelines for self-care of tendonitis or bursitis is rest, ice, compression and elevation or “R.I.C.E.”

  • Rest the injured area to give it time to recover. Do your best to avoid strenuous activities until you’re healed.
  • Ice the affected area a few times a day for twenty minutes. Wrap an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables or ice in a towel so the cold item isn’t directly against your skin.
  • Compression can help reduce swelling. Wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage.
  • Elevation can also reduce swelling. Keep the injured part of your body at or above the level of your heart while sitting or lying down.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen can also help provide relief. If you’re still suffering from pain, talk with one of our doctors to explore additional treatment options.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, PreferredOne and many others.

You can check with your insurance to see if your plan covers part or all of the services needed. Call the number on the back of your card for help looking at your options.

Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started: