Managing Golfer’s Elbow With Acupuncture

Managing Golfer's Elbow With Acupuncture

Most people describe pain on the inner side of the elbow as “golfers elbow” while doctors use the term medial epicondylitis.

On a wider scale, a small percentage of people diagnosed with golfers elbow actually play golf!

What is Golfer’s Elbow? 

When there is strain of the inner part of the elbow (medical epicondyle), it causes inflammation and acute or chronic pain.

How Does it Develop?

Overusing the forearm can create fatigue in the muscles and tendons. This fatigue increases the chance of muscle and tendon strain and tears, leading to inflammation.

In Chinese medicine, there’s an additional reason why some people are prone to these types of inflammatory problems.

Once reason is a deficiency of Blood. When there is a lack of blood to provide nourishment to muscles and tendons, they become undernourished and stiff. This stiffness increases risk of injury and inflammation.

How is it Diagnosed?

The following symptoms are typical of golfers elbow:

  • Firstly, pain on the inner side of the elbow
  • Secondly, pain felt along the forearm.
  • Tenderness on the area
  • Pain when a health practitioner pronates your forearm with resistance. 

How Can Golfers Elbow be Managed With Acupuncture? 

When visiting a Chinese medial clinic, treatment may focus on relieving the pain with acupuncture.

Alongside pain relief, treatment should support the nourishment of blood and increase blood flow to the site and reduce the likelihood the injury and similar injuries in the near future.

  • Firstly, Acupuncture needles are inserted on the opposite elbow. This produces a reduction in pain on the affected side. This requires an acupuncturist trained in distal needling. Apply here
  • Secondly, Acupuncture on the local affected area supports blood circulation to muscles and tendons to support recovery.
  • Thirdly, manual techniques such as massage and stretching the muscles in the forearm can aid recovery.
  • Finally, application of herbal medicine on the local area or oral herbal medicine support blood flow and relieve pain.

Suffering from elbow pain? Apply for an assessment here

David L. Edwards is an author, Chinese medicine physician and licensed acupuncturist. He is the author of The Body Fat Formula and The Pocketbook guide to Chinese medicine and painless cures (available on amazon). David is the creator of Barefoot Health and Wellness health programs.

Book an assessment here

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  1. Porter, Kaplan (editors). The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 19th ed. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Whitehouse Station, N.J. 2011.
  2. The Practice of Chinese medicine, second edition. Giovanni Maciocia. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
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