Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow in Dublin 2
Tennis elbow is a term used to described pain which is located on the outside of the elbow. The pain is caused by an overuse of the arm or forearm causing injury to the tendon that attaches to the bone outside the elbow. The medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis which means inflammation of the lateral epicondyle. It is called Tennis elbow because this is a condition that easily affects tennis players but there can be many other causes of injury.
The main symptoms of tennis elbow are:
- Persistent pain on the outside of the forearm near the elbow
- Pain is triggered by bending your arm or lifting something
- Pain triggered by writing or gripping small objects
- Pain when turning or twisting your forearm
- Difficulty to extend the arm
Tennis elbow can be quite persistent. If for most cases, it would disappear within a year, it can take longer for others. For some professions, like musicians and sport people, tennis elbow can be very disruptive and affect performance and playing. When chronic, it is classified as a repetitive strain injury.
What can acupuncture do for tennis elbow?
In general, trials and reviews of studies found that acupuncture is beneficial for tennis elbow, particularly on the short-term.
Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate local healing, to stimulate areas of the brain associated with pain and to promote relaxation.
Acupuncture for tennis elbow in four points:
- It reduces local inflammation
- It increases the release of adenosine which reduce pain sensitivity
- It stimulates local nerves promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller.
- It increases local micro-circulation, reducing muscle stiffness and improving joint mobility.
Sources: BAcC factsheet (Tennis elbow)
A male patient in his mid-40’s was suffering from tennis elbow for a week when he came to consult with me. The patient, a musician was in great discomfort and the disturbed him to play his instrument.
The examination located the pain on the lateral side of the cubital crease, just lateral to the brachioradialis muscle near the point Qūchí (Large Intestine 11). The treatment consisted in using three acupuncture points on the opposite elbow. This kind of treatment is frequently used for acute problems
After one session, the pain was gone with only a “ghost feeling” remaining. At the second session, the same treatment was chosen with a few systemic points to support the symptomatic treatment.
After the second session, the elbow presented no pain or discomfort and the patient remained pain free at follow-up one month later.