Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, affects our elbow and causes pain in its outer part.
The reason for its occurrence is the damaging of the tendons which are connecting our muscles with the elbow.
Although the name suggests that only a tennis player can suffer from this disorder, but in reality, any person, who overuses their elbow, can be affected from tennis elbow.
For example, a person, whose profession requires them to grip any item while twisting repetitive motion i.e. plumbers, typists, carpenters, chefs, painters etc. can also be affected by this disorder.
As mentioned above, this disorder is caused by overuse of arm.
The question that has been running through your mind lately is how effective is acupuncture for tennis elbow and should you consider it?
Am I right?
Our forearms are responsible for raising and straightening our wrist; when we exert extra pressure on them by repeatedly contracting them, it can result in tears in the tendon.
Tendons are responsible for attaching our elbow muscles to the bone.
Although, this disorder is common in tennis players but any other person who repeatedly overuses arm muscles can get affected by this disorder.
A simple activity like gardening can be lead to this injury.
Non-tennis player between 35 to 50 years of age may face the problem of tennis elbow.
A person who is suffering from tennis elbow may show following signs and symptoms.
- Stiffness of the elbow
- Constant aching
- Pain in the outer part of the elbow
- Forearm soreness
- Severe pain when holding an object
Traditional Treatment Methods
Tennis elbow can prove to be quite complicated to heal.
The best practice for reducing its effect is to reduce the use of your arm.
The practice is practically impossible if you are involved in such a profession in which it is mandatory for you to use your arm.
However, not taking the precautionary measures at the right time can further elevate the pain and can make the matter worse for you.
Many people use medications such as painkillers to lower the effects but it provides temporary relief as the pain surges back once after some time of taking the painkiller.
Furthermore, drugs and medications may also have certain side effects associated with them, which can harm your body in some way or the other.
In case the drugs do not have any worthwhile effect on the pain, it is a safe move to search for a better solution to treat your tennis elbow.
Some other common ways of treating tennis elbow are the use of cold applications on the affected part and the use of cortisone injections.
However, both the treatments can only provide temporary relief as cold only suppress inflammation while injections may not always work for you.
There is an option for surgery to cure tennis elbow in rare cases but you should only resort to it if nothing else works.
If you are looking for the quick and most effective way of healing your tennis elbow, acupuncture is the option for you.
World Health Organization, in 2003, has accepted acupuncture for tennis elbow a profound treatment for this disorder.
It is one such treatment that is most recommended for curing the tennis elbow.
It has been proved in studies that the patients who opt for this treatment get healed quickly as compared to those who choose other methods or types of treatments.
Another factor that goes in favor of acupuncture is that it has no adverse effect associated with it.
It is a completely effective method, which does not do any harm to your body.
This procedure can be done in many ways but one of the best, undoubtedly, is “trigger point acupuncture”.
Be sure to visit my friends at WIMI Sports and Fitness and read their post on this topic.
It is a form of acupuncture, which releases the tension on the tendon.
In trigger point acupuncture, the overused forearm muscles are targeted and released. Basically, through this form of acupuncture, the contraction of the muscle is completed and released to provide quick relief to the patient from the pain and treat tennis elbow.
The treatment of acupuncture for lateral epicondylitis starts with two sessions in a week.
The number of sessions varies depending on the condition of the patient; if the patient is improving the physician may reduce the frequency of sessions.
Acupuncture needles are pricked at specific regions on your body.
These points are known as acupoints.
Heat lamps, electric stimulation or herbal patches are used to stimulate acupoints for the purpose of treating this disorder.
Let’s have a look at the main difference in these three ways of stimulating of the acupoints.
- Manual Stimulation: The needles, in manual stimulation method, are pricked inside the points to bring diminutive current in the skin.
- This process may cause bleeding sometimes.
- Electric Stimulation: In electric stimulation electric current pass through the needles which act as electrodes.
- Herbal Patches: In herbal patch method, the burnt herbs are kept over the points on the skin.
The most common and preferred method of treating tennis elbow from the above-mentioned methods is electric stimulation as it is completely safe as compared to the other two.
After the skin is stimulated, the healing process will begin.
The degree of treatment will be determined by the pain the patient is experiencing.
Chinese Medical Theory of Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow
As per the Chinese medical theory, human bodies have a natural flow of energy which is produced by every cell in our body.
The energy, in our bodies, flows through a series of pathways. In case, the energy is blocked due to any reason, it becomes like a dam in a river.
The blockage of energy restricts the flow on one side of the dam that causes extra pressure on the other side.
Due to this blockage, our body can show various symptoms, with tennis elbow being the common one.
Acupuncture works efficiently in our bodies, as per the Chinese medical theory, because it helps to maintain the natural flow of energy in our bodies by eliminating the blocked areas.
Some Factors that You Must be Aware of
Listed below are some of the useful factor and tips that may come in handy for you if you are opting for acupuncture for the treatment of tennis elbow.
The first and foremost thing you need to do after you have chosen this method is to do a thorough research and make a comprehensive tennis elbow treatment plan.
May sure you have chosen a certified acupuncturist for your treatment.
They will ask you for your health history and check your pulse.
Moreover, they will also examine the color, shape, and coating of your tongue.
After going through your health situation, they will make a tennis elbow treatment plan for you.
Before you opt for this treatment, you should know the methods used in treatment.
The treatment of tennis elbow by acupuncture is not very painful.
But if you are like me, you are scared to death of needles!
But I guess it is less painful that PRP injections for tennis elbow.
Check out my post on the most painful injections you could ever have.
The acupuncturist will insert the needles 10 to 15 mm gently in your muscles around the elbow area.
The number of needles used in each session is approximately six with one of them being inserted near your thumb.
The time period for which the needles are retained in your skin is 30 minutes.
You will begin to see the difference after your first session.
Biomed Central has an interesting article you should read which includes an eye opening study on the effectiveness of tennis elbow treatment using acupuncture.
Number of Sessions
As discussed above, the number of sessions depends on the severity of the condition and from patient to patient.
On an average, most of the patients get cured after 4 treatments.
The frequency and number of sessions are usually recommended by the acupuncturist when they will draft a treatment plan for you.
There is hardly any chance of serious side effects with this treatment.
However, with manual stimulation, there can be an issue of bleeding.
Other acute side effects that can surface include swelling, infection, and scarring in some cases.
It is most recommended to choose a certified and experienced acupuncturist for your treatment in order to minimize the chances of side effects.
Benefits of Opting for Acupuncture
By opting for Tennis Elbow treatment with acupuncture, there are many benefits that you can derive.
Let’s have a look at some of them.
Maximum Chances of Successful Treatment
With acupuncture, there are maximum chances of successful treatment.
Studies show that around 90% of the patients who have completed the full acupuncture treatment course have got rid of this disorder.
Only 10% patients had to undergo the second treatment course.
Most Effective Solution
Acupuncture for tennis elbow is known to be the most effective solution for the reason it doesn’t do any harm to your body and because it isn’t a painful procedure.
No Chances of Pain Recurring
Once a patient has completely undergone the treatment of acupuncture for tennis elbow, there is hardly any chance of recurring pain.
The patients, after the competition of the treatment, can get back to their job without any fear of pain surging back again.
The other methods for curing tennis elbow i.e. injections, painkillers, and cold application may prove to be effective but they help in relieving the pain only on temporary basis whereas, with acupuncture, the pain is cured with no chances of coming back again.
Natural Healing Method
Acupuncture is known to be a natural healing method since there is no steroid or any medication used in this procedure.
It eases the flow of muscles in the affected area with the help of the needles and thus the disorder is cured without leaving any adverse effect on your body.
Furthermore, with this method, any tension in the forearm or elbow muscle gets released. It also blocks the pain message to the brain by settling the inflammation.
Cures Disorders other than Tennis Elbow
Apart from the treatment of tennis elbow, acupuncture can also be used to cure various other disorders i.e. tinnitus and other joint pains.
The procedure of curing other disorders is different than tennis elbow.
However, it is equally effective for curing those disorders as well. Some of the disorders for which acupuncture can be used to treat include:
- Respiratory disorders: Whether you are suffering from a common cold or acute sinusitis, acupuncture treatment can be used to cure various respiratory disorders. Acute rhinitis, tonsillitis, and bronchial asthma are some other respiratory disorders which can be cured with this method.
- Neurological Disorders: Acupuncture treatment can also be used to cure various neurological disorders i.e. a migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, and facial paralysis etc.
- Orthopedic Diseases: The benefits of opting for acupuncture for tennis elbow, a common orthopedic illness, have already been discussed above. However, it has proved to be a vital treatment for curing periarthritis, sciatica, lower back pain etc.
- Eye Related Disorders: Conjunctivitis, myopia, and cataract are some of the eye related disorders which can be cured by choosing acupuncture treatment.
- Some other diseases which can be treated with acupuncture include toothaches, diarrhea, constipation etc.
The Final Word
The long and short of this write up is that acupuncture is the most trusted treatment for curing tennis elbow and a variety of other diseases.
It is a natural healing and side-effect free method which makes it the most recommended treatment by the physicians.
The process, in which fine needles are inserted in the body of the patient to eliminate the blockage and ease the flow of energy, is not at all painful and helps the body to heal naturally without the use of any steroid.
But what if acupuncture is not covered by your medical insurance?
Well here is come good news for those who do not want to break the bank and go back and forth for endless sessions.
Tennis elbow is actually easy to overcome at home and …
The required tools and equipment needed, you already have out in your shed, basement and/or kitchen cupboard.
Yes you read that correct!
I am not joking.
There are some very simple and easy techniques you can do this very minute to stop your pain and kickstart your road to recovery.
It will not only quicken the healing process but will also eliminate the disorder completely and there will no chances of pain coming back ever again.