Managing Tennis Elbow With Acupuncture

Managing Tennis Elbow With Acupuncture

Most people describe pain on the outside of the elbow as “tennis elbow”, while doctors call it lateral epicondylitis.

On a wider scale less than 5% of people diagnosed with tennis elbow actually play tennis.

How Does it Develop? 

Tennis elbow manifests when there’s strain of the forearm (extensor muscles) and their attachments near the outside of the elbow.

Overusing and repetitive moving forearm muscles can create strain and tears in the muscle and tendons, leading to inflammation.

In Chinese medicine, there is an additional reason why some people are prone to these types of inflammatory conditions.

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.

Symptoms of Tennis elbow:

  • A slow onset, weakness of the forearm
  • Tenderness of the lateral side of the elbow
  • Pain traveling down the forearm.
  • Tennis elbow test positive
  • No limitation of flexion and extension of the elbow
  • Pain may become worse by rotating the forearm.
  • The pain exacerbated by overuse, fatigue or wet weather

Managing Tennis elbow 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.

Depending on the location of pain, Acupuncture may include:

  • ST33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 on opposite leg
  • LU5 on opposite arm
  • Local points may include  LI10, LI12, LI11, TE5 to increase blood circulation and relax muscles and tendons.

Manual techniques such as massage and specific movements may be incorporated. Herbal medication can be applied on the skin to support recovery or oral herbs may be prescribed to support recovery.

Struggling with elbow pain? Apply for a free assessment here

David L. Edwards is an author, herbalist 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 with David here 

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References

  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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