Acupuncture and quadriceps tendonitis

By Dr Win Huang

Mr. Aaron saw me yesterday, he have a knee pain for six months. He did heavy lifting six months ago, he felt sudden pain on left knee, it became better slowly itself, only litter pain after exercise, or longer standing, so he did not do anything, but in this two months it become worse than before, severe pain on the knee when he stand from sitting or semi-squat, specially he fell worse after lifting in gym, swelling on knee and painful.  He had been treated by someway, but he did not feel the effect, So he find me from internet and come to see me, want to try acupuncture.

I did examination for him, finding his left knee is swelling, see the photo below,and pressing pain on top of knee(L). so I think he suffer from the quadriceps tendonitis.

swelling left knee

normal right knee

big different from both right and left knees

patient feels much better,after two weeks acupuncture. see the photo taked in 19/01/2011,we can find the different before and after treatment.

What is the Quadriceps tendonitis? it is the inflammation and irritation of the quadriceps tendon. The quadriceps tendon connects the large quadriceps muscle to the knee. Quadriceps tendonitis is a very common condition amongst athletes and sports people who are involved in activities that place excess strain and the knees and legs. The information on this page will help your recognize the symptoms of quadriceps tendonitis, treat them and prevent them returning.

What reason cause the quadriceps tendonitis? Quadriceps tendonitis usually occurs as a result of overdoing an activity and placing too much stress on the quadriceps tendon before it is strong enough to handle the stress. This is often the case when an athlete is returning to training after a period of rest. This overuse results in ‘micro tears’ in the quadriceps tendon which leads to inflammation and pain. Over time damage to the quadriceps tendon can occur. In extreme cases, the quadriceps tendon may become damaged to the point of complete rupture.

What symptom is the quadriceps tendonitis? Common symptoms of quadriceps tendonitis include:

1) Pain when you move your knee, due to friction as the tendon moves over the knee, could be an indication you have quadriceps tendonitis. The pain is usually slight, but will get worse as the condition develops.

2) Swelling around the area where the quadriceps muscle meets the knee.

3) A feeling or “warmth” or “burning” in the area.

4) Stiffness of the knee. Especially during and after exercise, at night and first thing in the morning.

5) Localized tenderness that increases as you move your knee.

From over information we can know the patient suffer from the tendinitis of quadriceps, so I did first acupuncture for him yesterday, I have confidence, he will get improvement after one term treatment, I will tell you the result of acupuncture.

These causes can lead to what’s called “local qi and blood congestion in the channels” according to Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM, as you may know by now, includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Acupuncture needles are inserted at or very near to the source of the pain. This addresses the local symptoms by improving the circulation of qi and blood in the affected area.

Chinese herbs can reduce the inflammation in soft tissues and strengthen the tendons. In TCM, one of the functions of the liver is to control and moisten the tendons and ligaments. Therefore, healthy liver function is expressed in ease of movement. Acupuncture and herbs for tendinitis usually involve treating the liver also.

People with severe tendinitis may have to stop work that aggravates the condition, at least for a while. Less severe cases can be treated quite successfully with acupuncture and kept from becoming debilitating. Both acupuncture and Chinese herbs are extremely effective in treating tendinitis. Acupuncture, in particular, is the treatment of choice, giving excellent results in both acute and chronic cases. Acute cases can often be resolved in a few treatments. However, many people with this problem present with very chronic conditions. These cases can be treated with good results too, but the more long-standing the condition, the longer it will take to resolve.

Tendinitis is one of the most common afflictions and can especially affect us as we age, but it need not be inevitable. It is possible to take steps to minimize or prevent it altogether. As is often the case with many conditions, the two most important areas in life to attend to in order to prevent it are exercise and diet. Regular acupuncture “tune-ups” can also aid in preventing the development of tendinitis in the first place, as well as preventing a recurrence of tendinitis once it has been relieved.

If you’re suffering from acute or chronic tendinitis, give us a call and we’d be glad to schedule an appointment for you.

i have done acupuncture for 31 yrs, i got doctoral degree in acupuncture in Chinese university in 1995,and i had acupuncture work experience of big hospital in China,i am a mumber of NZASA( newzealand acupuncture standards authority inc),i am a ACC provider,and i have the Chinese medicine clinic in Mt Albert  Auckland NZ from 2002,so if you would like choose a acupuncturist to fix your problem,please come to my clinic ,you will have a excellent choice.

visit us on 1054 new north road mt albert auckland or phone09-8150518, email us at

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