Tennis elbow, despite its name, occurs in all types of people, quite often in those who have never even played the sport. It affects anyone whose work or recreational activities require gripping while twisting repetitive motions. It could describe the movements of plumbers, painters, butchers, typists, knitters, carpenters or chefs. It can also include athletic squash and fencing movements. In fact, using a screwdriver or tightening a pipe with a wrench can be good descriptions in trying to visualize movement.
So what is it on the inside of the arm that leads us down the path to tennis elbow? It’s a simple concept to imagine. A tendon, which is a fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone, becomes severely inflamed and has now developed what is called tendonitis. The cause is repeated contraction of the forearm muscles used to regulate the movement of your hand and wrist. These repeated movements and the stress on the tissues result in small tears in the tendon that connect the forearm muscle to the prominent bony bump on the outer side of your elbow. The pain can also spread to the wrist and forearm.
Tennis elbow is quite complicated to cure, as there are so many ways that you can choose to try and still have the distinction of being one of those diseases that offers the most resistance to being cured. One thing is certain however, you cannot “last” to make it go away, as using your arm too vigorously in this condition can hinder healing and lead to chronic pain, making matters worse and making healing efforts more difficult. . If anything, complete rest and disuse should be the first step to take, but it’s impractical not to use your arm for weeks or months while waiting for it to heal. Medications such as pain relievers can be used to numb and mask the pain initially, and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen often treat pain in the same way, but nothing is done to relieve the actual condition. . And with the medications alone or in combination with any medication you take regularly, there is always a risk of dangerous reactions and interactions. So if the medications don’t cure your tennis elbow, don’t take them beyond using them once if it is safe to counteract the pain while you seek a solution. Cold applications suppress inflammation but not much more, cortisone injections do not always work and should only be used as a temporary measure as they may need to be repeated over time, and surgery should only be considered in long periods of time. rare cases and as a last resort. Other than resting the affected arm, nothing I mentioned in this paragraph will eliminate your problem.
If your goal is to get quick pain relief and cure the disease for good, acupuncture has a profound effect on tennis elbow. Even the World Health Organization accepted acupuncture in 2003 as a valid treatment for this condition. One of the best ways to do this is through trigger point acupuncture, a specific form of acupuncture that targets and releases overused forearm muscles that are in spasm, so that as the muscles complete the contraction and release, releasing the tension on the tendon. This will quickly speed up your recovery. In my own practice, I make a point of explaining and demonstrating to my patients the specific movements that are causing their problem so that they can avoid tennis elbow in the future and work towards a rapid recovery. . I will also include daily stretches in my recommendations for keeping the forearms in peak condition. Here’s a final note: If you suffer from Golfer’s Elbow, a similar condition inside the elbow involving the flexor muscles of the forearm, acupuncture will also be effective for you.
There is never a reason to suffer in silence with any type of condition that can be treated with acupuncture. If you are not sure what you have falls into this category, take the time to call your acupuncturist to find out how they can help you. Acupuncture is used to treat hundreds of health conditions around the world and they are also here to help you with yours.