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Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis

Tennis elbow is a form of tendinitis located in the elbow. Often the pain will radiate from the elbow and into the arm and can be debilitating when performing everyday tasks. The pain will even worsen when performing movements such as lifting, twisting or straightening the wrist. This kind of injury is caused from a repetitive motion of the arm usually from playing sports such as tennis, swimming, or climbing. It can also affect those with labour intensive jobs that involve heavy lifting or repetitive grabbing and use of the arm. Tennis elbow is considered to be an “overuse” injury and cannot be caused by a direct injury to the affected area. Many people suffer with tennis elbow thinking that there isn’t a way to completely reverse it. Well, there is. And it doesn’t require the use of drugs or traditional methods of medicine like surgery.


What Happens After You Are Diagnosed With Tennis Elbow?

If you are diagnosed with tennis elbow, your GP may refer your to therapies that include physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, icing, applying a tennis elbow brace, injections and even surgery. Although these medical therapies are all proven to help heal tennis elbow, taking medications can lead to unwanted side effects and many people want to avoid surgery at all costs. Acupuncture and tuina massage has a history of success of curing lateral epicondylitis for over 1000 years and is one of the most recommended alternative treatments for this problem. 


Acupuncture For Tennis Elbow

When combined with massage, acupuncture has been known to be a go to treatment for many people with tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. In a study that followed three different groups, one who received acupuncture treatment only for tennis elbow, another group who received massage only and a third group that received acupuncture combined with TCM massage. The third group showed the most improvement, with the other groups trailing not too far behind. Many acupuncture clinics in San Diego offer acupuncture paired with massage which allows for maximum circulation and flow between the meridians. If you’ve been dealing with tennis elbow, ask your acupuncturist if they offer acupuncture massage service. 

In another study that administered both massage and acupuncture to patients with tennis elbow found that 20 patients involved in the study were cured after 20 treatments. 5 patients showed great improvement and another 5 showed moderate improvement. It was concluded that acupuncture combined with massage is effective in curing lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. 


It may be hard to get away from the tennis elbow pain right now, but know that tennis elbow is not a life long condition. With proper rest, gentle exercise and acupuncture and massage treatments, you can completely reverse the effects of lateral epicondylitis for good.


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