Chiropractic Management of Tendinopathy: A Literature Synthesis

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics | VOLUME 32, ISSUE 1, P41-52, JANUARY 01, 2009

Mark T. Pfefer, RN, MS, DC  |  Stephan R. Cooper, DC  |  Nathan L. Uhl, DC



Chronic tendon pathology is a soft tissue condition commonly seen in chiropractic practice. Tendonitis, tendinosis, and tendinopathy are terms used to describe this clinical entity. The purpose of this article is to review interventions commonly used by doctors of chiropractic when treating tendinopathy.


The Scientific Commission of the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP) was charged with developing literature syntheses, organized by anatomical region, to evaluate and report on the evidence base for chiropractic care. This article is the outcome of this charge. As part of the CCGPP process, preliminary drafts of these articles were posted on the CCGPP Web site (2006-8) to allow for an open process and the broadest possible mechanism for stakeholder input. A literature search was performed using the PubMed; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; Index to Chiropractic Literature; Manual, Alternative, and Natural Therapy Index System; National Guidelines Clearinghouse; Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects; and Turning Research Into Practice databases. The inclusion criteria were manual therapies, spinal manipulation, mobilization, tendonitis, tendinopathy, tendinosis, cryotherapy, bracing, orthotics, massage, friction massage, transverse friction massage, electrical stimulation, acupuncture, exercise, eccentric exercise, laser, and therapeutic ultrasound.


There is evidence that ultrasound therapy provides clinically important improvement in the treatment of calcific tendonitis. There is limited evidence of the benefit of manipulation and mobilization in the treatment of tendinopathy. Limited evidence exists to support the use of supervised exercise, eccentric exercise, friction massage, acupuncture, laser therapy, use of bracing, orthotics, and cryotherapy in the treatment of tendinopathy.


Chiropractors often provide a number of conservative interventions commonly used to treat tendinopathy.

FULL ARTICLE: Chiropractic Management of Tendinopathy: A Literature Synthesis