Tennis elbow, which is also known as lateral epicondylitis or extensor tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain outside of the elbow. The primary cause for this condition is degeneration or inflammation of the tendon of the extensor muscles near the elbow due to strenuous overuse. Most tennis players do get this condition, but it is also common to people who repetitively stress the muscles around the elbows such as decorating, painting, weight lifting or typing. Tennis elbow develops gradually over a period of days or can develop suddenly, and the injury can be difficult to treat if it is chronic.
The main symptoms of tennis elbow are elbow pain when pressing outside of the elbow, and the pain tends to worsen when the wrist is straightened, twisted or lifted. One also feels weakness in the wrist when performing simple tasks such as opening the door. It is important to seek treatment so as to ensure quick recovery and also reduce the chances of reoccurrence. The common types of treatment include physiotherapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, local steroid injections, bracing and surgery. However, acupuncture has been used for a while now, and most studies show that it is an effective way to treat tennis elbow by alleviating the symptoms. Most people will prefer this method of treatment because it is natural.
Acupuncture for tennis elbow is a way of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treating pain, and it has been accepted in the modern western medicine. In TCM, the Qi flows along the meridians which are pathways in the body. The theory behind its work is that it helps unblock the body channels where energy flows from the cells. When the channels are blocked, then there is the restriction of energy flow, hence leading to serious symptoms such as pain. When acupuncture is done, these blocked areas are released, hence minimizing pain on the elbow.
Another way that acupuncture for tennis elbow works to relieve pain is by stimulating the nervous system and releasing neurochemicals hence promoting emotional and physical well being. When the pressure points are stimulated during acupuncture, the brain receives messages to reduce stress and pain which then reduces anxiety and allows one to relax.
Acupuncture for tennis elbow also relieves symptoms such as inflammation and pain through:
Acupuncture for tennis elbow treatment is administered when the person is either in supine or sitting position, and the acupuncturist knows the exact points that the needles need to be placed. The acupuncturist uses 40mm sterile, disposable acupuncture needles which are rounded which makes it easier for the needle to enter the muscle tissue beneath the skin without causing any injury or damage. When the needles are placed in a particular region, then they stimulate the points that cause blockage and increase the blood flow to the area, hence allowing the healing process to start, reduces inflammation and strengthens the tendons.
The insertion points of acupuncture for tennis elbow are usually not near the elbow, and this is because if the intricate energy circulation blocks one part of the body, it will have effects of the energy blockage in another place. Some of these points include:
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I've been a weight lifter for many years and have developed tennis elbow over those years. The pain grew until I wasn't able to lift weights any longer. After doing almost a year of research and trying different options I found my self to be en expert in treating tennis elbow, golfers elbow and weight lifting elbow pain.