Tennis elbow Steve Coster acupuncture

Tennis Elbow Relief

How do you know if you have Tennis elbow?

The usual sign of tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow which then travels down the forearm.  The pain is often dull and intermittent.  Doing things with your hand and wrist usually make the condition worse.  You may also find it difficult lifting or grasping things, or unscrewing a lid to a container.  

What is Tennis elbow and how does it develop?

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a condition that causes pain and tenderness around the outside of the elbow.  It is caused by overusing the muscles and tendons of the forearm near the elbow joint, so you don’t need to be sporty to develop tennis elbow.  In fact, only about 5% of people who develop tennis elbow actually play tennis.  A wide range of people are at risk of getting Tennis elbow.  Musicians can develop it, such as violinists, but people also develop it doing the decorating or gardening. You can even get it using a computer keyboard and mouse.

The current medical advice is to rest your elbow and use a cold compress.  You might also take a paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory.  If the symptoms persist, some people go on to have corticosteroid injections, physiotherapy, and even surgery.  According to the NHS, cases of tennis elbow can take up to 2 years to recover.

How can Acupuncture help?

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, pain occurs when Qi circulation is blocked. It also can be caused by disorders in the internal organs and disturbance of the channels. However. there are many factors that may lead to pain.

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain, which is responsible for anxiety (Wu 1999).