Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common condition that causes pain on the outer part of the elbow. It is often caused by overuse or repetitive strain injury, and it can be a frustrating and debilitating condition for those who suffer from it. If you’re an avid tennis player or engage in any other activities that involve repetitive arm movements, you may be at risk for developing tennis elbow.
One treatment option for tennis elbow is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing and improve overall health. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, inflammation, and stress.
There is evidence to suggest that acupuncture can be effective in treating tennis elbow. A review of several studies found that acupuncture was more effective than no treatment in reducing pain and improving function in people with tennis elbow. Another study found that acupuncture, combined with other treatments such as stretching and strengthening exercises, was more effective in reducing pain and improving function compared to other treatments alone.
So how does acupuncture work to treat tennis elbow? Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. It may also increase blood flow and improve circulation to the affected area, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. In addition, acupuncture may help to relax the muscles and reduce tension, which can further reduce pain and improve function.
There are a few different acupuncture points that are commonly used to treat tennis elbow. These points are located on the arm, elbow, and wrist, and they are chosen based on their ability to target the specific areas of the body that are causing the pain and dysfunction. The needles are typically inserted to a depth of about a quarter to a half an inch and are left in place for about 30 to 45 minutes. Occasional, supplemental treatment with heat or an electric stimulation machine will be used.
Acupuncture is generally considered to be a safe treatment option for tennis elbow. It is rare for acupuncture to cause serious side effects, and most people find it to be a relatively painless treatment. It’s important to note, however, that acupuncture should only be performed by a licensed acupuncturist. Acupuncturists undergo rigorous training and are required to follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of their patients.
In conclusion, acupuncture can be an effective treatment option for tennis elbow. It can help to reduce pain, improve function, and promote healing in the affected area. If you’re suffering from tennis elbow and are interested in trying acupuncture, it’s important to speak with a licensed acupuncturist to determine if it is the right treatment for you.