Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, involves inflammation of tendons around the lateral epicondyle of the arm; the bony knob on the outside of the elbow. This causes pain and tenderness in the elbow where the injured tendons connect to the bone, as well as pain that refers up or down the arm. It's generally caused by repetitive gripping activities. Contrary to its name, tennis elbow can come from a number of different repetitive activities involving gripping, not just tennis. It is also commonly seen in those who play other racquet type sports, weight lifters, carpenters, painters, and those who spend a lot of time typing, raking, or knitting.
Acupuncture is a safe, natural alternative
Commonly prescribed treatments for tennis elbow include rest, ice, using a support strap, taking over the counter pain relievers, and gentle stretching or exercises. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe steroid injections, opioids, or surgery. Many people turn to acupuncture when conventional treatments aren't relieving pain and they want to avoid pharmaceutical medication or surgery. Acupuncture is proven effective for tennis elbow and provides a safe, natural, efficient alternative to conventional medicine.
Proven Effective in multiple studies
Acupuncture has been proven effective for relieving the pain of lateral epicondylitis in numerous empirical research studies conducted over the past few decades. In a systematic review of research published in the journal Rheumatology in 2004, six randomized controlled trials were deemed high-quality and accepted for review. All six of these studies concluded that acupuncture was effective in the relief of lateral epicondyle pain. Five of the six studies indicated that acupuncture treatment was more effective than the intervention offered to the control group .
Another study looking at the potential analgesic effect of acupuncture on lateral epicondylitis was published in the British Journal of Rheumatology in 1994. Researchers in this study found that 79% of patients in the acupuncture group reported pain relief after one treatment . In a different type of study on 90 athletes in China in 2014, researchers looked at the comparative effectiveness of acupuncture, tui na massage, and a combination of the two on lateral epicondylitis. All participants in the study reported a decrease in pain, and there were no adverse effects found. The group who received the combination of acupuncture and tui na showed greater improvement than the other groups, suggesting a synergistic effect. The researchers concluded that all treatment options studied are safe and effective options for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis . For links to these and more studies, see the Resources and Related Links section at the bottom of the page.
The physiology behind acupuncture
Physiologically, acupuncture works by shifting the release of biochemicals in the nervous system. Effects of this include a decrease in inflammation both generally and locally, as well as increased circulation in the area being treated. Acupuncture has also been shown to influence the release of naturally occurring pain relievers within the body, such as endogenous opioids and endorphins. All of this results in a decrease in pain and an increase in well being.
Acupuncture has been proven effective for the relief of tennis elbow over many decades of empirical research. If you're interested in learning more about acupuncture and tennis elbow, take a look at the Resources and Related Links section below. If you're interested in learning more about acupuncture, see About Acupuncture or How Acupuncture Works. To learn more about Wisdom Traditions Acupuncture, see About Us or read about Our Philosophy. If you have any additional questions, feel free to Contact Us or Schedule an Appointment Online.
Resources & Related Links