Have you ever hurt your elbow playing tennis? And when I say elbow, I mean the meaty part of your upper arm right next to your bicep. You might also feel "throbbing pain" and "soreness" there. If you've ever rolled your eyes whilst reading this description, then you're probably familiar with elbow tendinopathy. Do you have any idea that acupuncture can help treat tennis elbow? Neither did I, which is why I'm writing! Here's an article that will tell you everything you need to know about using acupuncture for treating tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow is a common and painful injury, weakness and tenderness in the muscles outside your elbow. It occurs when you overuse or strain your forearm muscles, usually by lifting heavy objects.
Traditional Chinese medicine has used acupuncture for thousands of years to treat pain and other ailments. The practice of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles in certain areas of the body to relieve pain and take care of other health issues.
Acupuncture for tennis elbow is a great way to relieve symptoms and improve the range of motion in your arm. The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance in the body's energy system. The energy system comprises pathways (meridians) that carry energy through the body and connect with vital organs like the heart, lungs and stomach. Energy imbalances can result from stress, which can affect our emotional well-being as well as physical health. Acupuncture helps restore balance by improving circulation and stimulating the immune system to fight off disease more effectively.
Acupuncture is a treatment that includes inserting very thin needles into specific body points. This treatment is effective for the treatment of the tennis elbow. Acupuncture treatment helps reduce pain by increasing blood circulation to the injured area. The needles may also stimulate the release of endorphins — natural painkillers produced by the brain — which can block or moderate pain signals sent to the nerves connected to damaged tissue.
Acupuncture treatments are usually done weekly or biweekly, depending on how quickly you respond to treatment. The sessions may last 15-30 minutes each, with needles placed in specific areas of your body according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles. Afterwards, you will lie down while the needles remain in place for up to 20 minutes.
During each session, an experienced acupuncturist should adjust your position and needle placement until they find an effective combination that works best for you. This can take some time but will usually get better results than if you try to do it yourself at home with just the help of printed instructions and diagrams.
The goal is to stimulate these points with the needle to produce specific responses from your body. As a result, less swelling and pain are reduced, as well as improved blood flow and healing.
In China, acupuncture has been practised as a treatment for a wide range of conditions for thousands of years. Over 2,000 studies have shown that acupuncture can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Learn how the centuries-old practice enhances health. Visit https://www.rush.edu/treatments/acupuncture to gain further knowledge.
- Pain around the outer part of your elbow
- Tenderness when you touch your elbow
- Weakness in your wrist, hand or fingers
- Stiffness and loss of strength in your wrist and fingers
Typical symptoms of tennis elbow include dull pain, weak grip, and tenderness of that outer forearm region. These symptoms can radiate to your thumb and index finger as well.
Several studies have found that acupuncture may help with types of pain that tend to last for a long time, such as low-back pain, neck pain, and knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. It might also help lessen the number of tension headaches and stop migraines. According to a report by the World Health Organization on how well acupuncture works, studies have shown that it can reduce pain, protect the body from infections, and control many other bodily functions. So, it seems like acupuncture might be a good choice for people with long-term pain. Acupuncture treatment significantly reduces the need for analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicines. It may also help with stroke rehabilitation.
Some examples of the efficacy of the condition include:
Pain relief - Clinical research has already demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture analgesia. Compared to unsuccessful treatments such as a placebo, acupuncture is more effective in treating chronic pain. Acupuncture is becoming the therapy of choice for long-term joint or arthritic pain due to the side effects and risks of continuous drug treatment.
Pain after injury or trauma or surgery - For injuries like sprains, acupuncture helps relieve pain, doesn't cause drug dependence, and allows faster healing.
Childbirth - Acupuncture analgesia during childbirth may lessen labour pain and length of labour. It can also stimulate the uterine muscles in the case of weakened uterine contractions. Acupuncture pain alleviation allows for episiotomy and subsequent suturing of the perineum.
Infections - Acupuncture treats acute bacillary dysentery. The World Health Organization does not suggest acupuncture as a first-line treatment for this condition. Acupuncture can relieve whooping cough and promote healing.
No major risks are associated with acupuncture because it doesn't involve surgery or any invasive procedure. But around the needle site, some people may get bruising or swelling. It may need multiple sessions before you feel improvement in your pain and function.
If you want acupuncture for tennis elbow, see a certified TCM practitioner. If you're unsure about someone's qualifications, ask where they taught and if they're GMC-registered. The GMC also publishes a list of registered acupuncturists online.