Acupuncture For Tennis Elbow

Let’s take a look at why acupuncture is becoming more of a popular treatment for sports injuries, specifically tennis elbow.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a condition that results in pain on the outer edge of your elbow. It typically flares up when you hurt the tendons that connect the elbow to forearm muscles. This pain will radiate throughout your arm, all the way from the elbow to the wrist. Without receiving any treatment, you may feel pain doing the simplest of tasks, such as driving.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

Lateral epicondylitis is the technical name for “tennis elbow.” This condition does impact individuals who do not play tennis. The pain is caused by overuse and doing the same activity/motion over and over again. Repetitive motions create tiny tears in the tendon, resulting in pain. Individuals can develop tennis elbow doing these activities:

  • Playing tennis.
  • Painting.
  • Gardening.
  • Using a screwdriver.

Any other racket sports like squash and racquetball can cause tennis elbow. Using the wrong size of equipment can also be responsible for this condition.

Signs You Could Benefit From Acupuncture For Tennis Elbow

Typically, tennis elbow can be cured over time with rest and at-home care. However, you should consider seeing a doctor if your symptoms persist. A doctor can then confirm your pain is the result of tennis elbow and nothing more. Sometimes, a steroid shot can reduce inflammation and increase healing time.

Check with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Your pain worsens.
  • There are deformities, such as bumps near your elbow.
  • Your elbow feels warmer to the touch than the rest of your arm.
  • You have trouble moving your arm.
  • Your elbow appears to be a different color than the rest of your arm.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is the process of penetrating the skin with thin, metallic needles which are then activated through specific yet gentle movements of the practitioner’s hands. These movements can also be performed via electrical stimulation. This practice is part of the ancient treatment of Traditional Chinese medicine.

It was a common belief of the Traditional Chinese that the human body had more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by meridians or pathways. These pathways create an energy flow, responsible for overall health throughout the body. Disruption of the energy flow can ultimately result in disease. Studies continue to show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for a variety of health conditions.

Chinese medicine refers to the energy flowing through the body as qi. Practitioners believe qi disruptions will create imbalances in your body’s energy, eventually causing illness. A few forms of acupuncture aim to rebalance qi with needles used to touch acupuncture points (acupoints) throughout the body.

There are hundreds of these points found along 14 major meridians in the body which are also referred to as energy-carrying channels. Needles are used to stimulate the body’s central nervous system/immune system.

How Does Acupuncture Treat Tennis Elbow?

There are a few different acupuncture techniques used to treat and relieve tennis elbow symptoms:

  • Dry Needling: This approach sees acupuncture needles inserted in order to relieve the tightened muscles. Dry needling is utilized to break up muscle knots or any hot spots that are causing pain.
  • Needle Retention: Acupuncture needles will be inserted and left in place for 15-30 minutes. The exact amount of time will depend on the severity of weakness or muscle tightness.
  • Electroacupuncture: This device comes attached to acupuncture needles that deliver electrical impulses at points in your forearm. The simulation acts like a computer reboot for the targeted areas of pain.

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