Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common sports injury. It involves inflammation of tendons around the lateral epicondyle of the arm. It is a painful condition usually caused by overuse of the forearms muscles, leading to pain and swelling outside the elbow where the injured tendon connects to the bone.
An individual is more likely prone to tennis elbow if they have shortened wrist flexors and weak extensors. It is typically seen in those who play racquet type sports, weight lifters, carpenters, painters, and those who spend a lot of time raking, knitting, and typing
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
If you suffer from this injury, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Elbow pain – mild at first but gradually gets worse.
- Pain extending from the outside of the elbow down to the forearm and wrist
- A weak grip
- Increased pain when squeezing an object and shaking hands.
- Pain when using equipment, lifting something, or opening jars
Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow
Generally, prescribed treatment for tennis elbow includes rest, ice, using a support strap, taking over the counter pain relievers, and gentle stretching or exercises. Many patients opt for acupuncture when conventional treatments don’t help relieve pain, and they want to avoid surgery or over-the-counter medication. Acupuncture therapy is effective for tennis elbow and offers a safe, natural, efficient alternative to conventional medicine.
Acupuncture works astonishingly well and speedily with tennis elbow. Acupuncture can significantly improve elbow function. The discomfort and tenderness may return after a few days. However, the pain will be greatly reduced, allowing the damaged tissue to heal. Most people are pain-free within a few treatments.
In the acupuncture treatment for tennis elbow, the therapist will insert needles along the forearm, elbow, wrist, and possibly, the feet and legs. Points vary because each treatment is unique. Along with acupuncture, the therapist may suggest physical therapy.
Physiotherapy is an excellent additional therapy for tennis elbow. The therapist will most-likely prescribe a set of at-home stretches and exercises that can help enhance strength, normalize flexibility, and improve coordination.
If you have a flare-up of symptoms, it is advised to avoid doing these exercises and stretches. A wrist brace or splint is another option if you find it hard to change or stop the activities that cause the pain.